Sasha (50), a lawyer, philologist and high rank police officer, came to Israel from Cherkassy (Ukraine) following his daughter Maria. When his daughter was 12 years old, Sasha’s wife died of cancer.
Sasha’s sister made Aliyah 20 years ago, and his parents came only a year ago. Sasha knows a lot about Israel, and he has a great love for this country.
Much of his story moved us to tears, as we are sure you too will be moved.
“All my life moves around Maria, my daughter”, he shares. When she was 16, Maria came to Israel through a youth project for teenage Olim. They come to boarding schools, where they study, live in and get to know more about Israel. Maria studied for 2 years in the project. “When she decided she did not want to return to Russia, I simply came to join her”, he says.
But there is more to just a simple decision. What Maria told her Dad was the pivotal reason.
“Maria sat one day on a park bench here in Israel, and she simply cried. She sat alone. Maria missed me very much, and she felt sad and alone”, he says. “She was only 16...”
Now, if that happened in another country, nobody would care for a crying teenage girl sitting on a park bench. But not here in Israel. Sasha continues: “Immediately people started to gather around her, someone even called the Police. When they asked Maria what was her problem and why such a beautiful girl is crying in the streets, she answered that she just missed her Dad. The Police called the school, and reprimanded the Principal, on why didn’t she notice that this girl was so sad. My daughter told me that ‘these people, totally strangers, simple passers-by in the street, treated me as if I was of their own family’. That spoke to my heart, and simply made me think I wanted to be here too”, he says.
Maria is now 18 years old and in a few weeks she will be drafted in the Israeli Army. Presently, Sasha is living in Sabra House. He knows at his age he might not get a job as a Police officer or lawyer. But, “we are home”, he told us at Sabra.
“MI DOMA” – ‘We are home’ in Russian.
"Behold, I am bringing them from the north …” Jeremiah 31:8