Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The recent global financial downturn exacerbated its reliance on international loans and highlighted its dependence on remittances from abroad and on energy supplies from Russia, with whom it has a very tense relationship. While the economy has made a modest recovery, it remains vulnerable to political uncertainty, higher fuel prices, and poor weather impacting agricultural production.
JDC has been working in Moldova for over 20 years, supporting the Jewish community in Kishinev, and its smaller offshoots in Beltsy, Tiraspol, and Rybnitsa. Close to 25% of Moldova’s Jews are elderly, while more than half of the Jewish population has been suffering significant economic hardship.
Today, in collaboration with the local Jewish community, JDC:
- Saves Moldova’s poorest Jews by providing food aid, home care, medicines and medical services, winter relief, and day center activities to impoverished elderly Jews, whose pensions are markedly below subsistence levels and make material assistance essential. JDC ensures nutritional assistance, after school enrichment programs, and psychological support for children in need and their families. Special needs children are being mainstreamed into community life, and vocational training courses have been helping mothers return to the workplace and teenagers find jobs after graduating high school.
- Revitalizes Jewish life through Jewish renewal programs offering activities and educational opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Summer retreats offer a popular way for families to experience Jewish life; a Hillel Center in Kishinev provides programming for young adults; and an annual Jewish learning conference attracts participants from all of the local communities.
- Develops tomorrow’s Jewish leaders by working to strengthen local Jewish community boards and advance the potential of lay leaders and professionals, with a special emphasis on emerging young leaders. A training program for madrichim (youth counselors) is producing leaders for Jewish camping programs, holiday celebrations, and other community activities.
See how JDC’s winter relief assistance is ensuring families like Tatiana’s have a lifeline in their time of greatest need.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2008, JDC piloted the first Hevruta-Moldava conference; designed to unite the community through a program of Jewish learning, the series quickly became a popular annual event.