Winter Is Coming: Help Jews in Ukraine Now

On the 18th of every month, Federation’s Mitzvah of the Month highlights one of Federation’s many impactful programs that is making a difference in the lives of San Diegans and Jews around the world.

Join us by giving $18 on the 18th for this month’s featured program:

Winter is Coming: Jewish Relief in Ukraine


For poor Jews living in war torn Ukraine, this means living in freezing temperatures without heat or warm clothing.

Federation and our partners at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), are committed to helping Jews in need – many of whom were forced out of their homes when the conflict erupted.

Your $18 donation ensures they receive warm clothing, food deliveries, live saving medications, and critical financial assistance for paying heating and utility bills.

For six-year-old Valeriya Sarabun, winter is the hardest time of all.

Valeriya suffers from frequent colds and other medical complications, and lives with her mother and grandmother in a dilapidated shared apartment in the Black Sea port city of Odessa which has been rocked by civil war for year.

Each night, she and her mother Marianna — a 28-year-old unemployed high school graduate who fled domestic abuse and the war in eastern Ukraine — share a small sofa in the corner, under a shabby wall insulated by a piece of old carpet. Plastic bags full of clothes and shoes surround their makeshift bedroom.

If not for the assistance of JDC’s social welfare center in Odessa, it’s hard to imagine how the mother-and-daughter pair would get by.

“In different parts of the FSU, winter assistance remains relevant and sometimes even critical for survival,” said Yulia Shusterman, a JDC staff member in the region.

During the winter, JDC gives Valeriya and Marianna winter boots and coal for heating. Throughout the year, JDC also assists the family with food, medical help, and school supplies.


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