Ever since its creation, Simantov has considered it one of its main roles to contribute to the development of Jewish communities by helping Jews connect – and fall in love. As our activity develops, we get to meet people from all walks of life, some of whom are experiencing difficulties. It is one of our most profound pleasures – and a wonderful source of pride – to be put in a position where we can help our fellow Jews who are down on their luck, following the great Jewish tradition of tzedaka (the obligation all Jews have to “do the right thing” by supporting the less fortunate).
The story of Michelle
This is what happened last year with a very nice young woman of Ukranian origin named Michelle. Michelle is a single mother, with an adorable 10 year-old daughter named Danielle, who had just moved to Lyon where she wanted to get integrated in the local Jewish community. Simantov offered its financial and emotional support.
Here is Michelle’s testimony:
‘I met a friend a few years ago at Kehilat Gesher, the synagogue of the Liberal American Community in Paris, thanks to the adorable Rabbi Tom Cohen, who always takes care of his people & tries to do his best to help.
Then I moved to Lyon for my professional activity and I tried to find friends here. The only address I had (given me by Rabbi Tom) was Keren Or, the Liberal Synagogue of Lyon. I wanted to become a member of this community and I had to pay the membership but in my modest situation, alone with a child, I couldn’t afford it.
I knew that my friend works for Simantov, an international organization with a worldwide activity, so I asked her to help me find friends. Despite her overbooked agenda she found a few days to come to Lyon and she gave me a few names of people she knew for me to contact. The aim was not exactly the same, but it really helped us in our integration here. She also did some research and found a few other Jewish organizations here, such as Fond Social Appel Unifié Juif de France & Espace Hillel Cultural Center.
Thanks to her help I participated in a few remarkable events of those organizations and had an opportunity to meet new friends and to integrate into the community. Simantov intervention was really priceless because when you are alone with a child in a foreign country, hardly speaking the language or knowing the local mentality, you really need someone who can support you at a difficult time. This organization has a well defined purpose – to help people find there soulmate – but even here the human qualities were shown in a best manner. It shows that even now, in this world of money, there still are people who have strong human values, like Simantov does. Thank you, Simantov!’
Michelle and Danielle are only two of many people we have been fortunate enough to meet and help. It is always a great pleasure to do what we can to support our fellow Jews.
If you too are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at our address: firstname.lastname@example.org