‘My dad killed my mum — then Emunah came to my rescue'

Vadim Lovv's story moves charity's supporters at London dinner


A story of hope from heartbreak moved the 420 guests at the Emunah dinner in London, which raised £300,000 for the charity’s welfare work in Israel.

Vadim Lovv was three years old in his native Latvia when his father stabbed his mother, Genya, to death.

“At the time mum already suffered serious violence at home at the hands of my father,” Mr Lovv, now 32, recounted in the appeal video, watched in silence by diners including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

“One day she took us to grandma’s house and basically locked herself in. Dad was drunk and angry and stabbed her.” His mother was just 22.

Mr Lovv’s grandmother became his legal guardian and they emigrated to Israel, where she worked as a cleaner and carer for the elderly.

They lived in a small flat in a “tough” neighbourhood with his siblings and cousins. He was getting into trouble with the police and his grandmother was struggling to cope financially.

Then Emunah came into his life as he and his siblings moved into the charity’s children’s home in Afula.

“From the moment I reached the home I was warmly welcomed and embraced,” Mr Lovv told the JC. Staff became family and he was able to connect with other children for the first time “because everyone came with a heart-breaking story”.

Without the support and structure the home provided, he would not have grown up to be “a mensch with values. They helped me break the cycle and achieve success.”

Currently studying for a degree in industrial engineering and management, Mr Lovv attended the dinner with wife Tobi.

“Family values are important to me,” he said. “I want to build a family that I didn’t have. The education I received from Emunah was all I needed to stand on my own two feet.”

Emunah’s help has continued with a trip to Latvia to visit his mother’s grave, where he laid flowers and recited Kaddish.

“I never knew my mother. I never had the privilege to get to know her. I have always had this feeling of deep loss.

“But my trip brought me some closure,” he said.

“I hope she would be proud of me and the journey I have made in life.”

Mr Lovv added that he tried to give back whenever possible.

“During Pesach, together with my friends, I was able to provide food packages to needy families.

“With the support and love from other people, I was able to change my life. I want to help other people in the same way.”

Novelist Howard Jacobson was guest speaker at the dinner, whose proceeds will back Israeli projects including children’s homes, 13 family counselling centres and support for young people in the south of the country who are affected by terror.

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