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Latvian Jews Prepare For Purim

photo: Courtesy of Ariel Nadbornik

The Jewish community of Latvia will celebrate the holiday with a brand-new shpiel expected to attract 150 to 200 people to a hotel in central Riga.

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In Odessa, Not Alone Anymore: Lisa, 94

At 94, Lisa Kestelman of Odessa, Ukraine, would be alone in the world were it not for her Hesed homecare worker.

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In Kharkov, JDC is "Glue Keeping Puzzle Together"

A former Hesed volunteer in Kharkov before she became homebound owing to complications from a host of diseases -- diabetes, atherosclerosis, pancreatitis, and more -- Asya knows the importance of community and of giving back to the Jewish people.

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Q&A with David Bezmozgis: On Crimea, JDC's 100th, and His Next Novel

photo: Courtesy of David Bezmozgis

Hear from celebrated author David Bezmozgis, who penned the foreword to “I Live. Send Help,” the remarkable newly published JDC Archives book illustrating our century of service and modern Jewish history.

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JDC on the Front Lines

Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, JDC continues its work caring for the country's most vulnerable Jews – like 74-year-old Felix of Sevastopol, a city of about 340,000 on the Crimean peninsula.

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Faces of the Ukraine Crisis: Boris and Izabella

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.

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Stepping Up to Ukraine’s Challenge

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.

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Mobilizing Emergency Relief in Crimea

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.

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Critical Crisis Care Continues

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.

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Photo Blog: One Day in Kiev

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.

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JDC Delivers Aid to Homebound Kiev Jews

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.

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Twenty Years of SEFER

photo: photo credit: Nikolay Busygin
Tags: Education

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.

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Caring for the Vulnerable Elderly in Odessa

Tags: Elderly

Through seven visits to elderly and children at-risk, the group saw the support the local Hesed and Beitenu day centers gives the city’s most vulnerable Jews.

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From the CEO: Israeli Plan for Dementia Echoes Globally

By: Alan H. Gill

– Chief Executive Officer

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.

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Trip to Siberia Underscores Value of JDC for Dedicated Volunteer

photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Fishbein

While all of Cheryl Fishbein's travel experiences were meaningful, one trip in particular stands out among the rest: the trip to Birobidzhan.

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JFNA Mission Visits JDC-Supported Programs in Belarus

photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Shklar
Tags: Elderly

JDC Executive Director for Strategic Partnerships Dov Ben-Shimon recently traveled to Minsk, Belarus, to address more than 100 Federation campaign leaders and staff.

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New Lehava Initiatives In St. Petersburg Spotlight Jewish Innovation

photo: Courtesy of Yulia Lidis

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.

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Read what Hesed and Compassion Mean to a Frail Elderly Woman in Russia

Tags: Elderly, Women

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.

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Saving Memories; Preserving the Quality of Life

By: Flo Low

photo: Sarah Levin

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.

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