If one picture is worth a thousand words, then seeing something with your own eyes must be worth a great deal more. I am writing this letter because I have just returned from Moldova and I have seen the amazing work which is being done in Moldova by Rabbi Zalman Abelsky
If one picture is worth a thousand words, then seeing something with your own eyes must be worth a great deal more. I am writing this letter because I have just returned from Moldova and I have seen the amazing work which is being done in Moldova by Rabbi Zalman Abelsky. I want to share my experience with you so that you, too, can join in the renewal of the Jewish community of Moldova.
My connection with the Jewish community of Kishinev began by accident as I searched the Internet in preparation for a trip to Moldova. There we found their site (www. Kishinev.org) and met Rabbi Zushe Abelsky, who gave of his time and advice so freely. My father and I were planning to return to his birthplace, Lipkany, a town near Kishinev which he had left so many years ago. After the ravages of the war and then Communism what, we wondered, would be left of the Jewish community?
When we arrived in Kishinev, Rabbi Zalman Abelsky met us and offered to show us around Kishinev. It’s hard to describe the kind of poverty we saw and the feelings it evoked in us. There is poverty in other European cities, but this was different. Shabbily dressed people milled around the open air markets, but we could see little to buy. “Dreary” would describe it well. We weren’t surprised; we had heard about the poverty in Moldova from friends, but really seeing it was still jarring.
When Rabbi Abelsky took us to see Jewish Kishinev, it was our turn to be amazed. Bright eyed, happy kids attending Jewish schools and play groups; an active synagogue where people not only gather to pray, but gather to learn about their heritage for the first time in their lives. The happy laughter of Jewish children in Moldova enjoying all the activities of summer day camp – all in a Jewish context. And good nutritious meals – served to campers, to school children, to elderly men and women. The utter magnitude of this effort was overwhelming – over 1,000 portions served each day! We couldn’t believe our eyes – it was so utterly different from the somber Kishinev we had seen earlier in the day.
As I said before “seeing is believing,” and I was so moved by the wonderful things which I saw being accomplished for the Jews of Moldova by Rabbi Abelsky and his terrific staff, I decided to become a “member” of the community and adopt the Kishinev Jewish Community as my own personal mission.
Since my trip to Moldova and seeing what a small, grass-roots organization can do to change people’s lives, giving has become a very personal thing to me. When I give to the Jewish Community of Kishinev, I know that my contribution makes a real difference in the lives of people who need my help.
If, like me, you also want to keep Jewish traditions alive outside of Israel, join me in supporting this worthy cause. I hope you’ll also become a “member” of the Kishinev Jewish Community. When caring individuals get together we can accomplish so much for our fellow Jews.
Yours in friendship,
January 10th, 1999