Helping Jews in Ukraine Find their Economic Footing

For unemployed Jewish adults in Ukraine, a course that ups their skills and makes them more marketable is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak economic environment.

Unemployment has challenged the well-being of Jewish communities in various parts of the world over the past decade.  Today in Ukraine, where the poverty rate has been hovering around 35 percent, JDC and its partners are helping Jewish community members deal with a dearth of economic and employment opportunities, especially in the smaller, peripheral areas.

Launched this June in two locations—Krivoy Rog and Zaporozhe—the Wohl Livelihood Development program is operating with support from UK’s World Jewish Relief (WJR), the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation, and the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation.
 
The program aims to reduce the number of Jews and Jewish families living in poverty by utilizing strategic interventions to remove existing barriers to finding work. The heart of the program—a 10-day "Welcome to Work" training program—helps participants, ages 21-55, learn more about the local labor market, estimate their strengths, and choose a more favorable career development path.

Leveraging JDC expertise gained in Israel developing job training and employment opportunities, the course focuses on the skills needed to re-enter the job market. It includes topics such as building a resume, searching for a job, interview skills, and self-confidence. Follow-up training will help the unemployed or underemployed improve existing qualifications or receive a certificate in a new field.



Participants are recruited from the Jewish community, with an emphasis placed on needy families who are clients of Jewish Family Services. Each 10-day course has 18 participants, and in both Krivoy Rog and Zaporozhe, the second group has just celebrated their “graduation day.”

For more information about JDC programs in Ukraine, visit: www.jdc.org/where-we-work/former-soviet-union/ukraine.html.

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