One of "the thousands saved by Jewish Child's Day" told her story to the charity's annual dinner, which raised more than £150,000.
Addressing 250 JCD supporters at the Park Lane Hotel in central London, Sasha Zipkin, 20, tearfully recalled a troubled childhood in Beersheva. "We didn't have water. There was no electricity so there was nothing in the fridge. Everything smelt of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. My sister Yulia and I stole onions from the market and ate them like apples in order to survive. We could be left two or three days all alone in a dark corner. Nobody cared if we were dead or alive."
JCD's help had given her a future, but there were "still many more children just like me, living in darkness who desperately need your support. Kids like me fighting every day for everything." Executive director Melanie Klass said that "with this level of support, we can continue to make a real difference. Sasha Zipkin is living proof that, given the right nurturing environment, every human can succeed."