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Mary’s story

“We live here, and we breathe this air. Hesed keeps us alive now.”

My husband, Leonid, and I had to flee our home in Lugansk, a city in eastern Ukraine, when shrapnel landed in our garden a few years ago. Lugansk was right in the middle of the battle between Ukraine and separatist forces. We sought safety with our daughter and her husband in Kharkov, Ukraine, where we all live in a small, one bedroom apartment.

In Lugansk, we helped JDC start the city’s Hesed center to help the Jewish community. Now we turn to JDC for assistance.

Like my husband says, we dream of going back, but each year the distance between us and that dream gets bigger and bigger and bigger. So we live here, and we breathe this air. Hesed keeps us alive now.

Mary Zilberman and her husband, Leonid, rely on the JDC Hesed Jewish Center in Kharkov, Ukraine to help make ends meet. Mary and Leonid are two of the 300 Ukrainian Jews in Kharkov, still displaced because of war, who JDC is currently assisting. JDC is a UJA partner and beneficiary.

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