Our Stories

Nourishing in Times of Drought

The young woman approached Dr. Johnson in silence, but her eyes were pleading. Modestly dressed despite the scorching heat, she beckoned the volunteer JDC doctor to follow her past shriveled trees and dead crops until they were safely behind a latrine. Then she lifted her skirt. “Please, 

From the Tel Aviv Slums to the Stratosphere of Success


After growing up in a poor neighborhood in South Tel Aviv, Shai Pinhasi worked hard to finally go to college. Now, as a participant in Federation partner The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Choosing Tomorrow initiative, he developed "Thinking Far," a program to mentor fifth-graders in his ol…

Changing Jewish Life in Moldova One Volunteer at a Time

Nikolai is confident that volunteering holds the key to a better Moldova.

His country is plagued by economic turmoil and a culture that still associates volunteering with draconian Soviet mandates. But with funding and meeting space provided in part by Federation partner JDC, Nikolai orga…

A Leader at Heart

 A veteran of Federation partner JDC’s youth leadership programs in Ukraine, Masha couldn’t wait to become a community leader in Donetsk. When conflict arrived, she was forced to flee to safety in Kharkov, becoming one of 2,800 internally displaced Ukrainian Jews.

But Masha refused t…

Safety From Fear and Violence

When fighting broke out in Donetsk, Ukraine between the government and separatist forces last year, Raisa Libenson believed she and her family would be safe at home.

It wasn’t until a mortar shell tore through the walls and furniture of her apartment, leaving the 78-year-old temporarily…