Izabella and Boris are two of the faces of Ukraine's ongoing crisis. Living in dismal poverty, they spend their entire winter huddled together in their kitchen because it's the only room with heat in their dilapidated apartment in the slums of Odessa.
In light of unfolding events in the Crimea region of Ukraine, JDC has activated emergency plans aimed at helping the neediest within the ethnically mixed peninsula's Jewish community. Today Crimea is home to an estimated 17,000 Jews, mostly located in and around the main urban centers of Simferopol, Sevastopol, Feodosia, and Yalta.
For seniors Mihail and Lyudmila — just two of the many vulnerable, elderly people we have told you about during Ukraine’s ongoing crisis — JDC is a lifeline when violence and unrest spreads fear and concern for the future.
For Irina, a homecare worker at JDC’s Hesed social welfare center in Kiev, the crisis in Ukraine wasn’t going to stop her from taking care of her clients – even if merely doing her job put her in the snipers’ crosshairs.
Seen here in photographs taken by JDC's team in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital has been transformed into a landscape resembling a war zone, with charred buildings lining its wide boulevards and fortified encampments filling the city's Independence Square.
As unrest continues to roil Ukraine, JDC’s stepped-up relief efforts include delivering food and other urgent necessities to Jews near in downtown Kiev where dozens have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in recent days.
SEFER – the international conference on Judaic studies – celebrated its 21st year this week, a testament to the staying power and importance of one of JDC’s first projects upon its return to Russia 20 years ago.
With Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia an increasingly critical factor in planning services for elderly worldwide, CEO Alan Gill pinpoints JDC’s role in helping aging populations in Israel, Russia, and beyond.
For the past nine months, more than 20 young adults from St. Petersburg used JDC’s Lehava young leadership program to develop leadership skills and learn important project management strategies to help implement important change in the Jewish community. On the night of June 20, they presented their community initiatives, the culmination of weekly meetings, seminars, and a study trip to the United States.
Read how the Book of Ruth’s story of kindness and compassion for the elderly is echoed today in the work carried out throughout the former Soviet Union by the Hesed welfare centers that JDC helps to support.
Read how JDC’s Margery Kohrman Saving Memory program in the former Soviet Union is helping to improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s disease sufferers while changing attitudes and social perceptions.
From the CEO: Nurturing Young Jewish Leaders in the Former Soviet Union
By: Alan H. Gill
– Chief Executive Officer
Read CEO Alan H. Gill’s thoughts on his recent encounter with visiting young Jewish leaders from St. Petersburg, Russia, and JDC’s role in helping to produce a new generation of communal leadership in the former Soviet Union.
On the 25th anniversary of the leadership mission that led to JDC's return to the Soviet Union after an absence of 50 years, JDC's Executive Director of Former Soviet Union Programs describes the challenges facing JDC in that region today.
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