Much esteemed [friends],
…I received your letter and that which was in it. This was for wife, my daughter, granddaughter, and me a complete surprise and the $20 gelt gift that you sent arrived at a time when it is a miracle. My gratitude to you is not just expressed in the quantity of words, but in the sincere gratitude of my family and myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you to you who were the initiator and the fulfiller of this mitzvah and it is not a matter of the quantity of $20 but in the immeasurably deep human goodness. And regardless of whether you would continue to help us or not, your action is a priceless human and spiritual deed.
In my childhood (from 1941 to 1944) I was with my family in the ghetto of Mogilev-Podolsk and lived through all kinds of distresses, torments, death of family members, and now when I am more than 70 years old, I still conduct (for 15 years already) much social activity in the organization of former concentration camp and ghetto survivors. All those who work with me-these are older people and we work on social issues, trying to teach people, as volunteers -are Holocaust survivors who have lost dear ones, who are often ill and in material need. But we have dedicated ourselves to this and will serve this sacred work to the end. Last year I suffered a heart attack, but God gave me physical and spiritual strength and I do this work for and in the name of people. Every year we care for the grass and restore order in the 17-hectare cemetery where 46 thousand people are buried. We attempt as much as we are able to, preserve and straighten the gravestones, we help the poor, and we do all we can to make sure that the Synagogue, which is 50 years old, is open daily. But for all of this one first of all must be healthy. In the future I will send you a photo of our deeds and you will see the justice of my words.
And today I thank you without measure for your gift and your good, noble relation to my family and me.
I do not refuse help from you, if you have the possibility of providing it. And I assure you that as I and my family become better off from a material point of view, I with joy will write to you about that and will be grateful all my life and my dear ones and I will not forget your good heart and good deeds.
With deep respect and gratitude, sincerely to you – Abram Kaplan
NOTE: Abram Kaplan passed away in January, 2007.