The story of FOREVERLY

The story of FOREVERLY

The life story behind the foundation

By Michal Belkin

Five years ago, my dear aunt Abigail Korach passed away suddenly. Abigail was a strong woman, full of humour and joy for life. To me and my family she was a role model for female empowerment and resilience in dealing with the challenges of life. She moved from Israel to New York in the late 70’s, as a young woman in her 20’s. She was alone in a strange city, but her goal was to devote herself to teaching Judaism to the children of the Jewish community. She built herself up from nearly nothing, without having any money or connections in the city. During her early years in New York she worked various odd jobs to support herself and fund her education. Over the years she became a professional teacher, exceptional and talented. She taught for many years at the Jewish school SAR Riverdale Academy in New York. Throughout the years, her reputation preceded her. Even though she lived alone, she was always surrounded by many friends and the parents of her hundreds of students who admired her, loved her and cherished her as an educator of the highest order. When she was 60 years old she was diagnosed with cancer. Her doctors told her she only had a few months to live. But Abigail did not give up and she beat the disease against all odds and the doctor’s predictions. Unfortunately, a decade later she passed away suddenly after a heart attack. The center of Abigail’s life was in Manhattan, New York. The relationship with us, her family, was daily, conducted over the phone and by e-mail. Once a year she would visit Israel. Therefore, when she passed away it was only natural that she be brought to Israel for burial. Her gravestone was engraved with the sentence which best expressed her calling in life: “a beloved and unforgettable teacher”. Her acquaintances, who were her extended family and surrounded her in her daily life, continued on with their lives in New York; due to the great distance, they could not attend the memorial services and maintain the special bond they had with Abigail. From this unique story, the idea of allowing all those who are interested in preserving the relationship with their departed loved ones was born; to enable each and every person, from all around the world, to preserve the memory of their loved ones in a physical sense in the cemeteries, on their behalf.
During the first year this activity was performed within the framework of the NERZIKARON project, mostly focusing on memorial services. The experience gained during this first year taught us that people need a lot more, and just as importantly, we realized we would like to give more. This is how the activity was transformed into the FOREVERLY foundation.
For us, this activity is our soulful calling

Avigal Korach of blessed memory