IFCJ, JDC to distribute $52 million in food and medicine to Jews in former Soviet Union

(JTA) – The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) has pledged $52 million to provide food and medicine to elderly Jews living in the former Soviet Union through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

The “Food and Medicine Lifeline,” a four-year, $13 million US per year commitment, was announced Monday by the IFCJ. Many of the tens of thousands of recipients of the aid are elderly and impoverished Holocaust survivors, according to the IFCJ.

The assistance will be delivered through the JDC’s local network of humanitarian services throughout the states of the FSU.

“There are countless hungry and sick elderly Jews across the FSU, including over 100,000 needy elderly and Holocaust survivors, who depend on our help,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ founder and president, said in a statement.

“Too many Jews around the world, but especially in the former Soviet Union, struggle to meet their most basic needs, including securing the food and medicine they need simply to survive,” he said.

IFCJ raises more than $140 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. The organization has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to assisting poor and elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union since it was founded more than 30 years ago.

JDC works in more than 70 countries, including Israel to assist Jews in areas ranging from alleviating hunger to providing disaster relief.

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