Mina finds a lifeline in Kiev

December 4, 2013 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Mina, 85, has lived alone in her apartment in Kiev for 44 years. Her only family—two cousins who live in Israel and California — call, but do not visit often. Yet Mina does not lack companionship thanks to her involvement with Chesed. This Federation-funded network of social services agencies, spread throughout the former Soviet Union, is a lifeline to thousands of Jews.

Mina has extremely limited financial resources and without Chesed she would not be able to make ends meet. Like many in this dire situation, Mina might ultimately have to make a choice between purchasing basic food items or the medication she needs.

“You receive a small pension, and it is impossible to live off of this pension and pay utility bills,” she says. Chesed gives Mina and the other seniors in the program gift cards so they may choose their own food at the grocery store. It also provides them with the essential things they need to maintain their connection to Judaism, such as matzo on Passover.

Besides helping Mina with basic necessities, Chesed offers activities such as lectures, concerts and holiday programs, as well as transportation to and from these events. “It might be impossible for us to live without spiritual support,” she reflects. Like so many other Jews worldwide living in difficult conditions, Mina relies on Federation’s partner agencies to keep her well and to lift her out of a life of need and isolation. knowledge, skills and experiences needed to embrace Jewish life. From P J Library, to Jewish Experiences for Families, from FedEd classes for adults, to the Florence Melton Adult Mini School, Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education provide a wealth of opportunities for adults, families and children to continue their learning and enhance their Jewish literacy and knowledge.

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