Vera is a Holocaust survivor who grew up in Vienna, Austria and came to the US in 1947. Other than her daughter, she has only a single living relative – a cousin in Israel. She and her husband have been married 57 years and live in a town in southern Massachusetts known for its large Catholic community. So every Chanukkah and Passover, Vera, 87, and her loving husband, 89, make the long drive to JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham to enjoy the meals, prayers, and rituals of her childhood.
These celebrations, made possible through the generosity of the George and Beatrice Sherman Family Charitable Trust, are hosted by the JF&CS Friendly Visitor Program, a program of Jewish Healing Connections. The Friendly Visitor Program matches seniors with caring volunteers for weekly visits. For many elderly Jews in Greater Boston, the gatherings are an opportunity to come together as a community and to connect with each other and the next generation. Vera and her husband have never missed a Friendly Visitor holiday event.
“We went to my grandparents’ house for Passover until Hitler came and everything changed,” she said. “[At JF&CS] I enjoy the service and to be together with Jewish people. Where I live there are very few. It’s like family to me. I feel good when I go there. I feel a connection.”
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