I was born in London, England. my father was a cabinet maker who came from Riga in Russia, and my mother was born in Latvia in Poland. I don't think they met until their wedding day. My mother was a wonderful lady. She kept a very Orthodox home.
As a child I attended Hebrew school - we called it Sunday school in our synagogue. In the synagogue the women would sit upstairs in the balcony and the men were down below,. Young children were not allowed in synagogue services except on Yom Kippur.
I came to America by ship on February 4, 1948 - the same year that Israel became a state. At first I was able to live with my aunt in Chicago, and my first priority was to find a job. I did think about religions now and then, but my first thought was, "I've got to get money and get settledor else I'll have to go back to England again." somewhere,
During the years I was definitely looking for something to believe in.I would sometimes see a church and ask friends, "What about this church on the corner? What about that one over there?" But for whatever reasons I never did find what I was searching for.
Eventually I retired from my -work, and would often go to the park near my home. One summer day in 1978 1 was sitting on a bench doing some handwork and a beautiful young girl came up and said to me, "Can I talk to you?"
I thought to myself "Talk to me? What does she want with an old lady?"
After inquiring about what I was making, she introduced herself (her name was Paula) and began to explain that she was a student in a program here in Chicago f'or six %weeks. Then she told me about the weekly Bible study that was being held where a lively group would meet to sing songs and study the Scriptures. She said it was the kind of thing that I might enjoy, and from the way she described it, I thought I might.
Then she invited me over for over before the Bible study and my,- first thought was, "Oh brother, I wonder how much this is going to cost me.
I was a bit reluctant to agree. I couldn't figure out why this girl would show such warmth and interest in me, a complete stranger. But I was interested in what she had to say, so I said, "Let me think about it."
She asked if she could phone me, and I told her I'd be glad to have her call. (I thought to myself, "I'm not going to in vite her to my house. I don't know who she is - she'll steal everything I've got.") When she did call, I was so glad to hear her voice. I agreed to be ready when she came to pick me up for the Bible study.
The whole evening really impressed me. I loved all the Hebrew songs, with the tambourine playing, and I thought to myself, 'Golly, I'm back home again!" It felt so good. Some songs I didn't know and some I did. I thought, They don't look like Jewish people. Why are they singing in Hebrew?" I couldn't understand it, but I loved it. And I didn't run out and go home. I stayed the whole night through.
Jose Jimenez had been playing the piano that night. He saw me leaving and called out, "Shalom, Doris!" and do you know I have never forgotten that; that he saw that I was leaving, remembered my, name, and said, "Peace." I thought that was so beautiful. And I Found myself looking forward to the next week's Bible study, and the next - it was the highlight of my week.
I hadn't been going there too long when I began to understand the message they were teaching,: that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, that I was a sinner, and that it was because God loved me that He sent His Son to be my Savior.
I knew that this was what I wanted, but I thought to myself, "Doris, you don't do these things lightly,-. Don't rush into something you shouldn't. Think about it a little longer.” I could see that they were so sincere, and I just loved coming to the studies.
Finally one day I sat down with one of the AMFI staff and wrote down a list of pros and cons: the things I would gain by accepting Jesus, and what I had to lose. There weren't t many cons, and there was a whole list of pros. The most important thing was that I would have Jesus who would always be my friend. I thought to myself, "What else do I want.-- I need a friend all the time, not just during the Bible studies." And so I put my trust in Messiah Jesus, asking Him to forgive my sins.
One time I was trying to reach my landlord, and he would never come to the phone to talk to me. So I said to his secretary, "How come I can talk to God but I can't talk to Larry.
So she said, "You talk to God?" I said, "All the time." It's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I can recommend it to everyone.