Elena Dobos was born in Rumania in 1919 and left home at the age of 15 in order to live with the Sisters of of Our Lady of Sion. She joined the congregation during the Second World War and was sent to Rome, where she actively participated in the congregation's activities in favor of the persecuted Jews.


After the war, she joined the small group of women who formed an apostolic group founded to know better the Jewish world and she moved to Israel in 1958, arriving on the same boat that brought Father Alfred Delmée, future priest of the kehilla in Jaffa. After six months of ulpan on Kibbutz Ginnosar, Elena moved to Haifa where she spent a number of years working for the Greek Catholic Archbishop Georges Hakim and she took care of both children who were orphans and the elderly.

A few years later, Elena moved to Tel Aviv, where she lived with Ms. Clothilde Mathys, member of the Hebrew speaking community in Jaffa and actively involved in promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue in Israel. Elena continued to work with the elderly and became a column of the Jaffa kehilla. After Clothilde's death in 1987, Elena moved to Jaffa where she continued her work with the disabled and elderly, many of whom became her close friends. One particular disabled man, Yonatan, she worked with for 23 years. When she officially retired at the age of 72, in 1991, she did not stop helping those who were in need and she became an important reference point for the Jaffa kehilla.

Elena established strong links to the community of Rumanian foreign workers, providing them with a spiritual support in Israel. It was she who petitioned the bishop in Rumania to send a priest to minister to these workers and the priests maintained a strong contact with her. She also insisted on visiting the prisons when Rumanian foreign workers were arrested.

In 2007, already advanced in years, she moved to a retirement home in Jerusalem, where she spent the last years of her life. She became a member of the Jerusalem kehilla and was a regular until ill health kept her confined to her room.

Elena passed away at the age of 92 in the night of Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. She is remembered for her strong faith, her devotion to her neighbor, her tender care of the sick and the poor and her quiet determination.

Witness to Christ, lover of her neighbor, may her memory be a source of blessing!