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The Jewish Family...

Friday, 13 March, 2015 - 12:31 pm

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday, we were at the Jewish Cemetery laying Evgeny Minenberg to rest.  Looking around at the funeral, I witnessed the power of our community.

Evgeny fled the Nazis with his family as a young child, survived very difficult years in Siberia, and ultimately, became a Ship Captain in communist Russia until he immigrated to Canada at the end of the last century.

Evgeny’s life story is no doubt a fascinating one but today I would like to write to you about the beauty of our community and the power each one of us has to have everlasting impact on another life.

Evegeny came to Victoria by himself in his mid 80s, and didn’t manage to make any friends, or to get involved in the community. He was a lone man.

At his funeral people still shed a tear; it was man and woman, volunteers in organizations of kindness in our community.

It was the Light of Shabbat volunteers, who visited him every few weeks and shared with him the joy of Shabbat, and became his friend and assisted him in times of needs. Sharon Fitch, Robert Anderson, Inna Smolov, Baruch Irmin and Igal Yagudaev are just a few of these generous members of our community.

The Jewish Family Services had been there for Evgeny in times of need, and their volunteers helped him receive the funding he deserved as an holocaust survivor, and assisted him in his last days of his life including helping him in making the decision to be buried as a Jew. The JFSVI was led by Fiona Prince and later Beverly Merson, and the volunteers include Michael Friedman who gave many hours of his time to help Evgeny, and Don Morris, who was with him in the last days of his life. 

At the funeral I realized that Evegeny had family in Victoria. It was all of us.

Comments on: The Jewish Family...

Don Morris wrote...

Very apt Rabbi: it was truly all of us!

Don Morris wrote...

Very apt Rabbi: it was truly all of us!

Michael Friedman wrote...

T'hey nafsho tsrura b'tsror ha'cha'im.

Joannie wrote...

A very special community glued together by a very special Rabbi, his wife and children. Kol Hakavod to all of you.

Mrs. Lorna Denning wrote...

Very touching story and I can personally attest to the genuine kindness of Sharon Fitch!

Sara Ratner wrote...

So kind. I'm grateful to be part of this kind-hearted community.

Allan Levy Abecassis wrote...

So very true

Ireta Fisher wrote...

Kol Ha Kavod

Perla Segal wrote...

I too met Evgeny thru Light of Shabbot. He and I became fast friends (not knowing it would be a short friendship). I last saw him in the hospital and remember his big smile before I left. He was a sweet man. I regret I had to miss his funeral.

Sharon Fitch wrote...

The last line of your story brought a tear to my eyes. Yes, we are a family. A family that supports one another. That is our dtrength.