Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:1
“My husband and I worked very hard to create a stable and loving space to raise our beautiful children. Maxim and Natasha are our lives and were always so happy living in our small village. We had the most wonderful neighbors and there was just this sense of community, where we all would look out for each other and take care of each other’s children. Then really, everything totally changed in an instant on that horrible morning, when our village came under the control of the occupiers.
The first weeks were absolutely terrifying, because we had no idea what to expect and how we were going to be treated. My elderly parents who lived just a few blocks away came to live with us, because my father was very ill and needed his chemotherapy treatments. We tried to stay strong and calm for the children, but we knew in our hearts that the only way to survive this, was to escape this living nightmare.
Our living conditions began to deteriorate very quickly when all of the electricity and running water was shut off. My father was unable to get his Chemotherapy treatments and sadly died a short time later. My sweet little boy Maxim, began to stutter every time he spoke, and Sasha my daughter, began to suffer from night terrors. We were living trapped like caged animals… Our world was crumbling…
Finally, there was a glimmer of hope when a humanitarian corridor opened up. We loaded everything we could into our car and put a sign on the window that there were children in the vehicle. We began to drive, but then suddenly troops appeared in the road with large guns and blocked our path. At that moment, my husband and I made the decision that we would wait for nightfall and then try again. Thank God, we finally made it out alive.”
The Altman family is now in our refugee program where they are safely under our care. Everyone in the family is working with our therapeutic teams to overcome the immense trauma that they all have suffered from. Sasha is enrolled in our Mitzvah schooling program and is making wonderful progress while working with our psychologists and social workers. And little Maxim is attending our Kalaniot day program where he is receiving psychological services and the loving care that he needs to heal.
May God bless you for helping us to bless and save suffering Jewish families in Ukraine.