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Barmitzvah boys separated by thousands of miles and a gulf in living standards have been brought together by a World Jewish Relief twinning scheme.
Chigwell schoolboy Joshua Dobias has donated £600 of his barmitzvah cash to his “twin” Stas — who lives in a children’s home in Odessa, Ukraine, having been rescued from a life of poverty and deprivation.
The money will help pay for Stas’s education during his barmitzvah year, as well as a party, books, clothes, shoes and other gifts including tefilin.
Joshua, who was barmitzvah at Southgate Progressive Synagogue, said that when he was called up, he thought of Stas.
“I feel happy that I have given him the opportunity to celebrate in his own way.”
WJR’s twinning programme has put 100 UK youngsters in touch with counterparts in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.