Meet Valery, an elderly Jew in Belarus


Valery has been beaten down by life.

A former military driver, Valery lost his fingers to frostbite during one frigid Belarussian winter, so only his thumb remains. His family is long dead and any friendly neighbors gone: the small village outside of Bobruisk where Valery lives once had a tight Jewish community, few remain, with most homes taken over by thugs and extremists.

Valery’s new neighbors frighten him, so he rarely leaves his dark little shack.

His pension is minuscule, and every winter brings renewed terror of the cold that took most of his hand.

Despite everything—the missing fingers, the fear, the dread—every day, Valery knows someone cares about him.

He remembers this when his heater kicks on. My home is warm because someone cares.

He remembers it at every Jewish holiday. Someone cares enough to send me apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah.

And he remembers it every time he takes his medication. I’m alive because someone cares.

Tradition. It’s at the heart of Judaism, and it’s at the heart of Federation. Our tradition? Feeding, clothing, sheltering, counseling, and rescuing thousands of people here at home, in Israel, and around the world.

With your help, Federation provides food, medicine, and companionship to nearly 170,000 of the world’s most impoverished Jews.