Meet the Myakotkin Family, a Displaced Ukrainian Jewish Family from Lugansk

Whether in Cleveland, Israel, or around the world, when a crisis hits, we are ready to help. For example, the Myakotkins were a typical middle class Jewish family from Lugansk, Ukraine, when a local war turned their lives upside down. Roman, the father, owned a chauffeur service with a fleet of vehicles. Iryna, his wife, worked at a local plant, producing spare parts for trains. Together with their daughters, Dasha and Masha, they were a strong family unit.

Pro-Russian forces’ bombs sent the family’s business and livelihood up in flames in less than 15 minutes. They were forced to flee their home and leave behind everything they owned. With just two suitcases, they made the 12-hour journey to Hesed, a Russian-Jewish organization part of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a Federation beneficiary.

They arrived with just the clothes on their backs, having lost everything else when their car was destroyed by a bomb. Upon arrival, they were immediately provided living accommodations, food, career-assistance for parents, and schools for their children. They also had access to counseling to help one daughter cope with war-related stress.

Today, due in part to our continued support of the JDC and its Hesed network, the family is rebuilding their lives in Odessa, Ukraine. “Our family had everything taken from us – our business, our home, and our community, yet thanks to the generosity of the community, we have hope and optimism for the future,” said Roman.

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Our family had everything taken from us – our business, our home, and our community, yet thanks to the generosity of the community, we have hope and optimism for the future.”