Too many Jews around the world, especially in the former Soviet Union (FSU), struggle to meet their basic needs to survive.

In an expansion of a longstanding partnership between JDC and The international Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the newly established “IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline” — a milestone $52 million, four year commitment — is ensuring that tens of thousands of impoverished elderly Jews across the FSU receive the critical food, medicine, and medical care they so desperately need.

Learn more about the Lifeline by reading this news release or watching this video.

Nina Burak

Nina Burak

Although 72-year-old Nina Burak and 66-year-old Tatiana Babailova are strangers, they have many things in common.

They live in small apartments in the same city in the former Soviet Union, each suffer from health ailments including arthritis, and neither could survive without the critical food, medicine, and medical services provided by the IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline.

Nina lives alone in the tiny apartment she and her parents inhabited together for decades and can only cleanse herself by taking baths in her kitchen, while other parts of her dilapidated home fall apart around her. Tatiana lives in a one room apartment along with her beloved daughter and granddaughter.

Tatiana Babailova

Tatiana Babailova

Nina never married or had children and when her parents passed away, she threw herself into volunteer work at the local JDC-supported Hesed social welfare center. Years ago, Tatiana was forced to place her eldest son for adoption as her life at home began to crumble, and it is evident that her past still haunts her. “Help me find my son,” she begs the few visitors she has at her home, as tears stream down her face.

Now, with the launch of the IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline, at-risk elderly like Nina and Tatiana never again have to worry about making the difficult choice between purchasing food or medicine with their limited income.

“Thank you so much for the help,” Nina said, “I don’t have anyone except the Hesed and IFCJ.”