A serious crisis is occurring in remote locations across Siberia in Russia. People must travel further to purchase food and access healthcare services. In countries like Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, and Georgia, nearly 90,000 Jews are living on as low as $2 a day, with no family, personal savings, or any government relief.
Many of them are elderly. Some are Holocaust survivors, like 89-year-old Klavdiya, who lives in a tiny apartment in Kishinev, Moldova. There, she receives lifesaving care, food, and financial help because of support from our community through the Campaign for Jewish Needs.
“Chesed (kindness) is my foothold,” Klavdiya says. “It helps me believe in kindness of this world. These are simple words, but I need to express what it means not to be forgotten.”
With help from Federation’s overseas beneficiary agency, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), we are able to help nearly one million Jews in 2,000 cities within the region. To ensure the JDC can reach these residents, they have reconfigured our operations to centralize homecare supervision to one larger Hesed Center. They are providing cost-effective bankcards to replace food packages to the neediest elderly Jews across the region's 8 million square miles. This year, JDC was able to launch a service to wire financial assistance by postal service to Jews in these remote locations.
One of these people who our community has been able to help is Izabella, a former ophthalmologist. A few years ago, her health began to decline. At 92 years old, she now cannot live on her own and she became homebound. Izabella can no longer buy groceries or cook for herself. We have made it possible to provide her the essential aide she needs to help with cooking, shopping, and cleaning her apartment.