JFS Perspectives

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sara: From Surviving to Thriving

Sara: From Surviving to Thriving

Sara Moses had never seen a flower until she was seven years old. She had never experienced the delight of ice cream. She had never heard music before or even seen her own reflection in a mirror. Sara had just turned seven when she was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 10, 1945. Suffering and hardship were all she knew. It’s a miracle that she survived. She was so ill and emaciated that the soldiers who liberated her thought she was an infant. In fact, Sara was one of the youngest children to make it out of the camps alive.

Sara MosesToday Sara is 79 years old and—with a little help from Jewish Family Service—is thriving. She’s vibrant and active and funny. She credits her good health to eating well, exercising regularly, and laughing. Humor is an important part of her life.

The Holocaust experience has shaped her life and continues to haunt her. She lost more than 100 family members, including her beloved mother, whose loss she still feels to this day. She is an only child and her mother’s love was the only bright spot in her childhood. Safety is an issue for Sara. She always locks her doors and can become uncomfortable when entering unfamiliar public spaces. She still experiences occasional nightmares and night terrors that take her back to her childhood. Sara is working on a book documenting her unique childhood perspective of the Holocaust and its aftermath. “It’s been a healing process,” she says.

Sara lives at Kavod Senior Living and is a favorite among the residents for her quick wit and warm nature. She is benefiting from the special services provided to Holocaust survivors by the Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center at Jewish Family Service. The services she gets help her live in comfort while ensuring she is cared for and not alone. JFS helps with case management, housekeeping services, and transportation so she can get to her doctor appointments and grocery shopping. Agency staff also help her translate important letters from the German and Polish governments regarding her pensions.

Sara moved to Denver from St. Louis in 2015 to be closer to her youngest son and his family. She didn’t know another soul. She can no longer drive, which made her feel isolated in her new home. She was feeling anxiety and insecurity about her move to Denver. A friend suggested she reach out to Jewish Family Service for help.

The instant she met the JFS staff, she loved them. “Mirella and Julie really care and bend over backward to help me however they can,” says Sara. “They’ve got my back. They see me often and have been very supportive. They are like having devoted family members in my corner. JFS is helping me to remain independent and enjoy my new life in Denver.”



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