Building from the Ruins

Pnina was a 23 year old IDF widow when she approached us in the year 2002. She and her husband, Ivgeny, had made Aliyah from the former Soviet Union a few years before.

Ivgeny was called up to reserve duty during the military campaign ‘Chomat Magen’. Their daughter was a baby of just six months old when he went to the army. This left Pnina in the position of juggling work and looking after her baby. At the same time she worried deeply for Ivgeny’s safety.

While Ivgneny was in the army, Pnina found out that she was expecting another baby and she immediately called him to let him know the happy news. Ivgeny was pleased even though their financial situation was not good because his income was small.

Pnina’s world collapsed that evening when there was a knock at her door and she opened to see army representatives with grim faces.

Ivgeny had fallen in battle in Jenine.

Together with the shock and trauma of losing her beloved husband, Pnina had to deal with pressure from friends and family who did not feel that she would be able to manage alone financially with two small children. They did not think that she should have this baby.

Pnina contacted EFRAT and our volunteer offered non-judgmental support to the young widow. When she heard about the possibility of financial assistance, she continued her pregnancy.

She named her new daughter Keren Ivgenia, in honor of her husband.

In the most painful and difficult moments, EFRAT’s volunteer stood by Pnina and helped her to choose life. The support and reassurance that the volunteer was able to offer Pnina were invaluable.

Recently I spoke with Pnina and she said that she thanks EFRAT daily for the fact that her daughter is alive. Keren is now a young woman and a blessing to her mother, bringing comfort to her every day.