Gregory and Marianne Nudel arrived in the U.S. from Russia with little more than the clothes on their backs. Jewish Family Services helped find them a place to live, a place to study English and even their first jobs. Now, Gregory works two jobs, the second one "for fun." Marianne is working and going to school. They were confident they'd never need help again.
Until six months ago. Gregory's mother, a pediatrician living alone in Russia, suddenly became the target of anti-Semitic attacks: Graffiti scrawled across her front door, her mail burned. When she was physically attacked, Gregory turned to federation again. Dr. Nudel arrived in January.
Jews in the former Soviet Union enjoy unprecedented freedom. Freedom to emigrate; freedom to practice their religion. But this freedom, along with a stuttering economy, has unleashed an increase in activity among anti-Semitic and neo-fascist groups. And, while there has been a resurgence of Jewish life, there has also been a rise in emigration. Working with partners around the world, federation assists thousands of refugees and immigrants every day. With your help, the federation community can do more.
Maria Kolker didn't make aliyah with her sister in 1991. She didn't want to be a burden. Her sister was 13 years younger and had a new family. So, Maria stayed in Chechnya. In the war-torn republic, communication between the sisters was impossible. In December, nearly ten years later, her sister saw Maria on an Israeli news broadcast. Maria's nursing home had been bombed and she was among 240,000 Chechen refugees to flee the region. "I cried for her and with her." After a call from her sister, federation representatives went from building to building to building looking for Maria. They found her and the sisters are now reunited in Israel.