By Maya Katz

Posted on 13th January 2010

Action for Post-Soviet Jewry (APSJ) began aiding pensioners in the early 1990’s, when it became apparent that these were the most vulnerable members of the Jewish communities left in the FSU.  Efforts began in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, and have extended to other cities and villages.  By and large, isolated pensioners were not encouraged to emigrate to Israel, where they would be a drag on the economy.  Help for women, men and younger family members is provided when necessary.  This help also extends to non-Jewish members of the family, since there are many intermarriages in the FSU.

APSJ maintains a network of local volunteers, who seek out the most needy pensioners in their community, ask them what they need, and purchase items for them.  This can include food, medicine, clothing, utility payments, bed linens, eyeglasses, hearing aids and more.  APSJ also have a network of volunteer physicians who hold free clinics for pensioners in many, but not all, of the communities they serve.  Some individuals are helped every month – others less often.  This organization encourages the formation of “Warm House” gatherings where a dozen pensioners meet at a neighbor’s apartment for a warm meal and to celebrate Jewish holidays and birthdays, covering the cost of food because most individuals cannot afford to feed guests.  In addition, large quantities of clothing and medicine are shipped to APSJ's contacts in the Jewish communities being serve.

Learn more at  

A volunteer shaking hands with a Action for Post-Soviet Jewry recipient.

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