«Jewish Observer»
November 2002
5763 Kislev

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Yulia Kapler is a 9th form pupil of "Or Avner" school.

An elderly person... What do we mean by these words? What feelings does this word combination - elderly person - generate? There are, probably, people who have never pondered about this. "The elderly" for them are their grandmothers and grandfathers, and they never recall about others. Whereas we, pupils of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish school "Or Avner" never forget about those others. They are looking forward to our visiting them. This is astonishing - you with your classmates take a bus, go throughout the entire city, talk about something insignificant but, in effect, you've got a sole desire to get to your destination as soon as possible, to longer stay there, in the house "Beit-Barukh". It is so wonderful - to visit somebody! When a year ago we were told in school that the World Jewish organization of help and consolation was building, together with our city community, a house for the elderly, nobody paid particular attention to this. In Dnepropetrovsk they construct a lot. But when the first tenants arrived in the house, when we went to see them for the first time - everything became different. We (I remember this very well) immediately changed our attitude towards this. We came to realize an event of enormous importance had occurred in our community. We understood the words about charity and compassion are not mere words from books, they are actualized, you may perceive them. Faces of the old... I don't know how to tell about this, that's why I will put it like this - these are the kindest faces I have ever seen. Since then trips to the house "Beit-Barukh" are a big holiday for me.

This time it was the same. We came to congratulate the house tenants with their "professional" holiday. They proved to us they successfully cope with this difficult matter - to be on a pension! We were stunned to see a wonderful exhibition of their works - fantastic embroideries, knitting and even pictures. It was very pleasant when a JOPU representative Mikhail Goldenberg presented souvenirs to all exhibition participants. Then everybody moved to the winter garden where both guests and hosts began telling one another about latest events. I told about the elections to our school Knesset. I didn't think my story would evoke such big interest! But it turned out "our" grannies are very keen on everything going on in the Jewish school. They told they saw them young in us and pictured their would-be life should they had had such school in their time. I will tell you we also envy them in something. For instance, their choir... They perform wonderful songs in Yiddish! You just don't believe these people are that advanced in years. They so aptly recite poems that we have to learn much and long to make our odds even. We could once more ascertain in this during a festive concert. The hosts also received presents from the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community. A community manager Alexander Fridkis and wonderful Khana Kaminetskaya had brought them to be handed over in a warm homey atmosphere. In such way the World day of an elderly person was marked in the Dnepropetrovsk house for the elderly "Beit-Barukh". We will keep visiting it to present our elder friends and our- selves with main joy - joy of personal contacts.


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