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Homecare Visits Open ‘Whole World’ to Leah

Connecting the Jewish people to the Christians who love and support them

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Posted on: 
14 Feb 2021
Homecare Visits Open  ‘Whole World’ to Leah

Although Leah was unable to do so in 2020 due to the pandemic, she loves to host overseas visitors brought to her by our ICEJ Homecare team. This is why, on one recent morning, Leah’s breakfast had an international flavor. As she ate with her Moldavian caregiver, Homecare nurse Corrie van Maanen paid a scheduled visit, along with guests from Australia and the Netherlands. Always the gracious hostess, Leah told colorful stories about her native Ukraine, which she left 25 years ago for Israel.

Although raised in a Communist society, Leah learned about Jewish holidays and traditions from her grandfather (a rabbi) and grandmother. Now in Israel, she enjoys all the Jewish celebrations, especially as she says they bring everyone together.

Many Jewish people from Ukraine and other former Soviet republics grew up with no connection to Judaism or knowledge of the Bible, and yet they felt a deep drawing to Israel, Leah said. But when she was diagnosed with a chronic disease, it crushed her dreams of reaching Israel. Then in 1994 she read of a new treatment available in Israel. Leah wrote to the doctor named in the article, who responded: “Are you Jewish? Come to us.” Her mother had passed away, but Leah and her father made the journey together.

Regrettably, the treatment did not work as hoped, and other health problems have ensued. But Leah does not regret moving to Israel. Adjusting to a new language and vastly different culture was difficult. However, she learned Hebrew and joined a support group, as well as a club for disabled people, which provides lectures, holidays, and friendship. “Life in Israel has not been boring,” she insisted.

The pandemic brought those activities to a close, and Leah has faced some very low moments over the past year. However, her good humor helps her cope with life in an electric wheelchair. When the lift has not worked, or a mishap occurs on the street, she still maintains “everyone is so helpful.”

Her English-speaking skills learned from university and honed through a wheelchair-bound American friend has opened “the whole world” to her when receiving our Homecare visitors. Leah has told Corrie many times that the connections Homecare has given her to many far-away Christian friends has been an extremely important part of her life in Israel. The connections Homecare has given her to many faraway Christian friends has been an extremely important part of her life in Israel.


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