David and Anatol’s Story

I have always been terrible at languages. No matter how hard I tried I could never master more than a few words in French or Spanish. So when JSSA connected me about spending time visiting Anatol – a Russian Holocaust survivor – I was worried that we would find it hard to communicate. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

While Anatol’s English isn’t perfect – it sure beats my Russian! And somehow we always manage to laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes we play chess (he beats me just about every time!), sometimes we listen to music (we both love jazz) and sometimes if the weather cooperates and he feels up to it we take a short walk.

It really doesn’t matter what we do – we just enjoy being together. We talk about my work, our families and our travels. Anatol loves to talk about politics and living in DC – we’re never short of headlines to discuss. Thursday evenings have become the highlight of my week. It’s funny, I wanted to volunteer at JSSA to give back but it’s really Anatol who’s giving so much to me.

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