Growing up in Flatbush, Sheva (Frank) Tauby didn’t hear many stories from her American-born parents about the Holocaust even though many relatives on both sides of the family had perished.
Today, she hears stories all the time.
As founder and director of iVolunteer (iVolunteer.com) she and her husband, Rabbi Tzvi Tauby, arrange for volunteers to visit and assist isolated Holocaust survivors. They meet survivors, screen volunteers, conduct training sessions, raise money and run an array of social events and Shabbat-holiday programs.
And they still visit several Holocaust survivors each week.
The emphasis is on survival, says Tauby, who has visited survivors since she was a teen. “They’re the most upbeat people in the world.”
The Taubys are Lubavitch, but iVolunteer is nondenominational. And few of the participants are Orthodox. Many of the volunteers aren’t even Jewish.
“We want to attract all kinds of people,” Tauby says.
At iVolunteer, she teaches volunteers to accompany the survivors and help with shopping and tasks around the home. She promotes the group through social media and e-mail. There’s a waiting list for volunteers, mostly young professionals.
For the survivors, many of whom have no children, the volunteers are often their only social contact, the first person to contact for an emergency, she says. “It’s like a grandkid coming over.”
Make me a match: Tauby is a natural matchmaker; she’s responsible for two marriages between volunteers. “I love connecting people,” she says.
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