Remembering Our Heroes


DNEPROPETROVSK, UKRAINE

May 11, 2005

Sixty years after WWII came to an end, communities Europe-wide conducted ceremonies of solemn remembrance this week.

In many of the cities, Chabad rabbis marched with survivors and community members, remembering those who lost their lives and honoring those who survive with scars that never heal.

In Dnepropetrovsk, Chabad Rabbi Shmulik Kaminetski and his board members decided to do something more substantive. At the initiative of Mrs. Yelena Grivina Boglovona, the mother of Dneperpetrovsk's Jewish community president, the war heroes-- many who are living below the poverty line--would be suprised with gift to make their lives a bit more comfortable.

"It is sad to say that these people were never adequately rewarded for their service," says Rabbi Kaminetski.

So on May 9, more than 1,000 people crowded into the main synagogue to pay a long overdue, token tribute to 500 war heroes. Each would receive a gift certificate towards the purchase of any necessary electrical appliances they needed.

The war heroes were surprised and their faces lit up at this kind gesture. Thus far Mrs. Kaminetski counts 500 refrigerators, 800 ovens, stereo sets, and vaccum cleaners--"something to make a small difference in the hard lives of people who suffered so much, and had been neglected for so long."

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