JDC Field Blog

With the Last Day of Chanukah, Hope for Poor Jews Burns Bright

Peter, 72, a former boxer and client of the IFCJ Lifeline, the operational partnership of JDC and IFCJ.

Peter, 72, a former boxer and client of the IFCJ Lifeline, the operational partnership of JDC and IFCJ. photo: Vladimir Shraga for JDC

In a 200-year-old home in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolaev, an elderly woman sits alone, looking out the window at the passersby. Perhaps her mind has wandered to happier times as she’s watched the hustle and bustle of the last week when fellow Jews celebrated Chanukah.

Lyubov, a 66-year-old woman, is nearly bedbound in the old house, due to heart and mobility problems. She spends most of her day sitting near that window in a home with barely functioning plumbing and a broken refrigerator. With a pension of only $51 a month, however, she can scarcely afford the food and medical care she needs to survive, let alone repairs for her old house.

In another part of the former Soviet Union – Kishinev, Moldova – Peter, a 72-year-old former boxing champion, is also bedbound. He spends his days alone, sitting in a bed with a thin metal frame in a small room with bare cement walls.

 

Lyubov

Lyubov, 66, from Nikolaev, is a client of the IFCJ Lifeline, the operational partnership of JDC and IFCJ. Photo credit: Vladimir Shraga for JDC.

 

The aid that both Lyubov and Peter receive through programs like the IFCJ Lifeline, JDC’s operational partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, helps their meager incomes stretch a little bit further, making desperately needed food and medicine attainable.

Such support, especially in the darkness of the winter means even more this time of year, when feeling left out can be compounded by bittersweet memories of holidays past. It’s been a little bit of Chanukah light.

We’re so proud that we can be there to make this season easier for those in desperate need. And together with our partners – the Claims Conference, Jewish Federations, IFCJ, and so many others – we are joined together in a multi-faith coalition to ensure the world’s neediest Jews are remembered this Chanukah, and all year round.

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