24 FOR 24

Day 9

When “Pay it Forward” spans generations

More than 75 years ago in Ukraine, Maria Blishchik hid a Jewish girl named Fanya Bass in during World War II from Nazis, saving her life and ensuring that her family lineage would not end.

Fanya’s family had remained in touch with Blishchik’s family ever since this fearless act of kindness generations ago. Which is how Sharon Bass, Fanya’s granddaughter, learned that two of the grandchildren of the Ukrainian woman who had saved her grandmother’s life were searching for refuge from their war-torn home.

“We talked, they were very stressed and scared and they wanted to come here to be safe,” Sharon told the Jewish News. “There were sirens all the time. The electricity was on and off. They heard the bombing in the distance.”

After speaking with the women, Sharon reached out to the Israeli Interior Ministry and was able to secure visas for them. Now she is working to secure them permission to stay, a modern reflection of the kindness shown to her grandmother two generations ago. 

Today’s installment of #24for24 honors Maria, Sharon, and the countless others who are saving lives today as well as the gratitude of people like Lasia and Alona who now have a chance to change lives for generations to come.

Read their full story here.