MOSCOW, March 19 (JTA) — Nina Shvets was pleased when she received a letter last week from her granddaughter in Israel. What the 69-year-old woman did not know was that, a day before she found the letter in her mailbox, her granddaughter, Sherri Geddayev, and six other schoolgirls had been shot dead by a Jordanian soldier while they were on a field trip to the Israeli-Jordanian border. “When I saw the report on the TV, my first thoughts were about my granddaughter,” said Shvets. “I had a premonition that something terrible would happen.” It was not until five days after the 15-year-old from Beit Shemesh was shot that officials with the Jewish Agency in Russia were able to locate Sherri’s grandmother, who lives in a small village in southern Russia’s Krasnodar region that has no telephones. Shvets left this week for Israel to spend a few weeks with her daughter’s family in Beit Shemesh. The Geddayevs — Shlomo, 41, and Margalit, 35 — emigrated from the town of Bukhara in the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan five years ago. Sherri was their eldest child. Her sister, Vered, is 12. The family’s youngest, 2-year-old Daniel, was born in Israel. Three years ago, Shvets, a retired teacher of German, stayed for eight months with her daughter’s family. “Sherri was so happy to be in Israel,” Shvets said of that time. “The thing she loved best was to make Shabbat dinner for the family.” In her last letter, written 10 days before she died, Sherri told her grandmother that she would like to come to Russia to see her during summer vacation. “I don’t know why it happened to her,” Shvets said a few hours before departing to Israel. “I always wanted everyone to live in peace.”
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