Kiev Jewish Community Who Fled War to Poland Return After Six Months

By Hamodia Staff

Jewish war refugees returning to Kyiv. (JCC-Chabad of Kyiv)

After months at the shelter in Poland, the elderly of the Jewish community are returning home to Kyiv.

Dozens of elderly people from the Ukrainian were stranded months ago in the dead of winter without electricity, heating and water, and under incessant shelling.

For over half a year, about 200 elderly people from the Jewish community of Kiev were living in a shelter in Poland initiated by the JCC Chabad in Kyiv, the Jewish community in Poland and philanthropists from England. They are now returning to their homes and to their families. The shelter in Poland was initiated by the Jewish community JCC Chabad in Kyiv together with the Jewish community in Poland and philanthropists from England.

In Poland, the elderly of the Jewish community stayed in guest houses in Lublin and Lodz, with the help of volunteers from the local Jewish community, who provided them with a full life routine, with cultural events, holiday activities and a Jewish atmosphere.

One of the returnees, 75-year-old Vladimir Ivanovich, planned on spending the frozen winter months in a safe place in Poland together with his friends from the community. He did not expect that leaving Kiev for Lodz would save his life.

A few days after arriving in Lodz, Vladimir suffered a sudden heart attack. The local medical team successfully resuscitated him immediately treated his condition. “The doctors told me that if I had gone through the incident in Kiev, most likely I would not have survived,” said Vladimir in a conversation from his home in Kiev.

“The hands of the medical teams in Ukraine are terribly busy because of the war and the treatment of the wounded,” said Rabbi Markovich, who accompanied Vladimir throughout his hospitalization and stay in Poland. “Here we had the opportunity to provide him with quality medical care, in an orderly hospital and without fear of shelling and threats of war.

This week, after half a year resting in Poland, he returned to his home on the outskirts of Kiev, where he met his daughters who were looking after the house. “The stay in Poland was intended to provide the members of the community a place of shelter and protection from the cold and the war in the winter months. Now, many of them have asked to return home in the hope that they will have a little peace here in Kyiv as well,” said Rabbi Markovitch. “Some of them will return to the guesthouses in Lublin and Lodz and some of them will help our teams here in Kiev who provide them with food baskets, medicine, clothing and all necessary equipment.”

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