Mrs. Talya Samanina and her adolescent daughter Malka, flew especially to Moscow from their city of Orsk in the Ural mountains region, in order to participate in the open doors orientation seminar at FJC’s Machon Chamesh Institute. They arrived with Saratov Airlines and planned to return home Sunday, on the only flight for that day.
Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, who heads FJC’s YAHAD young adults programs platform, said one of the staff at YAHAD, which helps the Institute organize the orientation seminars, Izik Chernitsky, asked the Samanina family to postpone their tickets by one day in order to stay until the end of the seminar, which also included a tour of Moscow’s Jewish sights. The mother and daughter agreed. On Sunday they heard the news and understood that this decision had saved their lives. The flight that they originally planned to fly with crashed a few minutes after takeoff from the Domodedovo airport of Moscow, and all of its 71 passengers were killed.
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and head of FJC Russia Alexander Boroda extended condolences on behalf of local Jewish communities to the families of the victims. Based on available information there were no Jewish passengers on the flight.
“At YAHAD we apply continuous efforts to save the lives of Jewish families in the spiritual sense. But sometimes you get a wake-up call – the real miracle we witnessed as this family was saved physically puts things in perspective and provides inspiration to proceed with our work,” Rabbi Wilansky said.