As unrest continues to roil Ukraine, JDC’s stepped-up relief efforts include delivering food and other urgent necessities to Jews in downtown Kiev where dozens have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in recent days.
JDC’s Alena Druzhynina (pictured above in white helmet) entered the tense Independence Square area to bring a package of food to Mihail Solomonovich, an 82-year-old pensioner who has been homebound since the worst of the violence began.
“When Mihail received the food package provided by Kiev Hesed, he said it was one of the most long-awaited and bright visits he ever had,” Druzhynina wrote from Kiev. “[Solomonovich] lives alone in a one-room apartment and barely moves around, but his eyes were full with pride and gratitude,” she added.
The crisis that has plagued Ukraine over the past month has impacted the most vulnerable of Ukraine’s estimated 300,000 Jews. JDC has responded by activating its emergency network and providing services and supplies to elderly Jews and single-parent families in their homes. Home-care workers have spent the night with the most frail seniors and mobile units have been responding to urgent needs.
To reach Solomonovich in Kiev, JDC's Druzhynina wore protective gear and had to talk her way past barricades manned by vigilantes. She was accompanied on her mission by volunteers Masha, Marina, and Lena, who are members of the Jewish community.
“They were so inspired by the visit that they decided to visit Mihail on the regular basis,” reported Druzhynina. “In two weeks they will be back.”
JDC, with the support of its global partners, provides life saving assistance to tens of thousands of needy Jewish elderly and children in Kiev and other cities and towns throughout the country. JDC is also shaping new generations of Jewish leaders and developing Jewish community life through JCCs, Jewish family camps, Jewish holiday celebrations, cultural festivals, educational opportunities, and young adult leadership training programs.
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