For over 35 years Alex was a doctor in Minsk, Belorussia. Alex is a Holocaust survivor. Tragically, his wife and a granddaughter died from Chernobyl related illnesses. Alex was sponsored and came to Canada 8 years ago. He stayed with his daughter at first but had to move out due to an abusive relationship with his son-in-law. He was absolutely alone and isolated, and often didn’t have enough money for food and medication. Alex started to attend the Bernard Betel Centre's Healthy at Home program and staff helped him obtain appropriate services. Alex has made many new friends at the program and no longer feels isolated.
Poverty in the Jewish community is real and has many faces. Poverty cuts across the lifespan - it affects everyone - especially our youngest and oldest community members.
The 11 social service partner agencies funded by UJA Federation improve the lives of our community's most vulnerable members. We want to thank the dedicated volunteer and professional leadership of the following agencies:
Ben and his mom were newcomers to Toronto in search of a better life. Ben’s mom worked three jobs, seven days a week, just to pay the rent and put food on the table. Unfortunately, even that didn't last for long as her landlord raised her rent beyond what she could manage. She once again harnessed her strength and resumed looking for a place to live. Everything was so expensive.
“The crushing weight of my lonely, desperate life and dire straits combined with thoughts about my future and my child's life, all suddenly collapsed on me. I made a phone call to Jewish Family & Child, an agency supported by UJA Federation, that completely changed our lives for the better.”