Last Saturday, a projectile, most likely a Russian mortar shell, struck a rescue van carrying Jewish humanitarian worker Emma Igual.
The 32-year-old Ms. Igual and a Canadian coworker tragically died, and two other passengers in the minivan were hurt. Emma’s tale was incredibly brave.
She was a courageous rescue worker who made the decision to travel to Ukraine, where she would be on the front lines and risk her life to aid others in need. Emma felt pleased with her Jewish heritage.
During the Holocaust, Emma’s grandmother fled to Austria and eventually lived in Spain, where neither she nor Emma’s mother (her daughter) could adequately educate Emma about Judaism.
Emma’s time at the University of California, Berkeley, reignited her interest in Judaism. She made the decision to live her life according to the Jewish principle of helping others.
She worked as a relief worker 20 hours a day, and the UK Jewish Chronicle, which spoke with her, reported that she could only have friends who accepted and understood her obsessive attention. Emma is a co-founder of the Ukrainian rescue organization Road to Relief.
She and her co-founder, Henri Camenen, saved soldiers and civilians alike before expanding to provide essential humanitarian supplies.
When the rocky route to a hospital could have been lethal, she started dispatching specialized doctors and establishing a mobile frontline operation.
She told JC reporter Paul Cainer in Ukraine, “In hundreds of rescues, I have not even had a scratch—I have been so lucky. “I believe my Jewish grandmother, who passed away from COVID more than two years ago, is still guarding me in some way. I’m not sure how long that will last.
A few days ago, Emma and her coworkers evaluated the best way to free imprisoned inhabitants in a town close to Bakhmut, a city that had been completely destroyed by months of fighting. Her car was fatally hit while she was on that mission.
According to the JC, Peter Fouche, a colleague in charge of a different rescue effort, paid tribute in the following way via a WhatsApp voice message:
“Emma was unquestionably the most devoted civil aid worker in Ukraine. She was unable to remain still. One of her friends referred to her as a beast because she had her hands in so many pies. Yes, she was a beast at work.
She was quite brave, but in a grating way, and she would irritate a lot of people. She would defy their counsel and enter dangerous areas, which is why. However, she saved many lives and provided food for hundreds of villages. She resembled a visionary in several ways.
. She had the ability to predict events before they occurred. I would message her while I was on the front line thinking we needed something, and she would reply, “Yeah, I’ve been working on that since last week.”
We paint the call-signs or names of our deceased coworkers on the hood of our rescue cars. Emma will be the name of the next car we can bring over from Britain. A celebration of a genuinely noble spirit.