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Q&A: Yoni Leifer, JDC's Representative in Eastern Ukraine

Explore his life journey from Minsk, Belarus where he was able to embrace his Jewish identity after years of Communist oppression, to Israel, to his current role working in crisis-wracked Ukraine.

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Jewish Families Come Together to Celebrate Shabbaton in Style

Tags: Families

For the first time, 33 at-risk children and their families, with the youngest child less than a year old, traveled to a retreat center outside of Odessa for a celebratory Shabbaton.

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Giving Back Meets Back-To-School

By: By Anna Pavlova

It’s easy to get to the community to come together when we’re working for one common goal: to help our community’s kids.

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Odessa Horse Therapy Program Helps Children In Need

Tags: Children

13 year-old Egor is one of five at-risk Ukrainian Jewish children with special needs from the Odessa community who recently visited the city’s Horse Club for a special therapy program.

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Back to the Future: Active Jewish Teens

By: Marina Klimchuk

It's been 21 years and now I’m a JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps fellow, back in the same country my parents once felt forced to leave.

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On Crimean Peninsula, Building Jewish Community

Despite the political crisis that has plagued Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula since 2014, JDC's activities in cities like Sevastopol and Simferopol continue unabated.

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Q&A: David Bezmozgis

Award-winning novelist David Bezmozgis, whose family was assisted by JDC on their emigration from Latvia, is a master storyteller at the height of his powers.

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A Summer Respite in Troubled Ukraine

Nikita Danilenko and his family were never JDC clients before Ukraine's violent political and economic crisis erupted last year.

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Keeping Passover Spirit Alive in Ukraine

Learn how JDC is coordinating Seders and community Passover events throughout Ukraine in the face of a humanitarian crisis that has displaced thousands of Jews.

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Q&A: Masha Shumatskaya

When the daily shelling began to be too much to bear last June, 23-year-old Masha Shumatskaya packed up her belongings and left her hometown of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine for the safety of Kharkov.

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In Battle-Scarred Ukraine, Purim An Incongruous Sight

This Purim JDC staff and community members in and near the war zone in the east of the country will celebrate the holiday despite the hardships visited upon them recently by the conflict.

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Dispatch: On the Ground in Eastern Ukraine

Read reflections from JDC's Vice President Jacky Schimmel, just back from a field visit to war-torn eastern Ukraine.

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In Donetsk Under Fire, Caring For Those Who Remain

Since violence erupted in Ukraine last year, many caretakers and volunteers working for JDC's Hesed social welfare center network have risked their lives treating thousands of homebound and frail elderly around Ukraine.

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In Eastern Ukraine, Fostering Hope

As Ukraine’s crisis continues, marked this past weekend by dozens of deaths in the Black Sea coast city of Mariupol, JDC doubled down on its efforts to care for the most vulnerable Jews still living in the conflict-laden eastern part of the country.

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Dispatch from Odessa: Winter is Coming

By: Gil Shefler

Every Chanukah for the past two decades, a giant menorah has lit up the central square of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, bringing a little festive cheer to Jewish and non-Jewish locals during the long winter nights.

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On the Ground in Ukraine

This week, I returned from Ukraine after a week-long trip visiting JDC’s programs, clients, and staff in both Odessa and Kiev -- the first time I was personally exposed to the crucial work JDC does in the former Soviet Union.

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Donetsk Jews Celebrate Sukkot

Earlier this month, the Jews of besieged Donetsk -- the city in eastern Ukraine caught in the crossfires of much of the tension and violence plaguing the former Soviet republic -- celebrated a very special Sukkot.

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Faces of the Ukraine Crisis: Aza Grigorenko

This isn't the first time Aza Grigorenko, 88, has been a refugee. It's not the first time she's been forced to leave her home because of war.

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From the CEO: Under Fire In Ukraine, Heroism Abounds

By: Alan H. Gill


Alan H. Gill just returned from Ukraine where he met with some of the thousands of Jews displaced by the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

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On the Ground: Photos from Ukraine Crisis

photo: (Rachel Calman/JDC)

These photos showcase JDC's bold action on the ground to confront the needs of a troubled Ukraine and ensure the well-being of its most vulnerable Jews.

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