One Family's Slavyansk Story

For the Endeberrya family, the recent escalation of violence in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk hit terrifyingly close to home.

Until recently, Viktor, 68, and his wife Irina, 60, lived in a private home in the city with their daughter Elena, 35, and her son Timur, 3. Timur's father had left the family shortly after Elena gave birth; Elena left her job at a local tax office at around the same time to raise her son with the help of her parents.

Two months into the violence in Slavyansk, the Endeberryas' home was bombed. Though the family was fortunately out at the time, the effects were still severe: The explosion killed their dog, destroyed the house's walls and roof, and crushed furniture and many of the family's belongings.

That was it. The family left the city immediately, dressed as they were when they came upon their ruined home. All they took with them was what they were carrying when they first saw the destruction.

Not knowing where to go, the family traveled about two and a half hours northwest to Kharkov, where a family of volunteers from the local Jewish community took them in.

In Kharkov, JDC has been working hard to provide those who have left their homes with material support, host family accommodation, and more. Other families have settled temporarily in Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine, and in Rostov-on-Don and St. Petersburg in Russia.

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