Letter to the Editor: September 21, 2016

Call for action

Twenty-three years ago there was a bombing in a marketplace in Sarajevo. Eighty people were killed and a close-up of an 8-year-old little girl wounded was the image that demanded that I should do something, right now.  No more watching a Holocaust and crying, “What can I do to help?”

With little money and few connections, I was able to approach the then-small Bosnian community, convince Hadassah that women must do this mitzvah and enlist the help of all that cared.

Over a three-year period and three visits to Sarajevo during the war, together we brought in 150 tons of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and warm clothing, valued at more than $10 million. 

Driven by the Jewish community, it was truly an ecumenical effort that made a profound difference in saving lives.

Read the Light’s “Real Genocide” editorial and Bob Cohn’s commentary, “An image we must not forget” (Aug. 31 edition). Both pieces address the humanitarian crisis, which is ongoing in Syria. Cohn asks: “Is anybody there? Does anybody care?”

Please, someone say, “Yes, I care, and I will figure out a way to help — right now.” 

Elsie Shemin-Roth

Sarajevo Bosnia Chair, 1992-1995