The city of Cherkasy is located on the right bank of the Dnieper River, 120 miles south of Kyiv. Cherkasy has long been a cultural center in Ukraine, with several theaters and museums, a planetarium and zoo. The city boasts large parks and gardens, as well as 3 indoor skating rinks.
Several hundred families make up the tight knit Jewish community in Cherkasy, a city of 300,000 people. The population of the city has increased over the past couple of years as people relocate from other parts of the country, like the Sotnikov family from Mariupol.
Soon after the crisis began and Mariupol was under attack, Mr. and Mrs. Sotnikov and their younger children were separated from the grandmother and their oldest daughter. Communication was lost--no one knew if the two were alive. The mother fled with the younger children when the opportunity presented (the "green corridor" opened); it was the most terrible and difficult decision of her life. Fortunately, a few days later, the eldest daughter reported that she and her grandmother were safe in Berdyansk. After some time the family was reunited.
The Sotnikov’s had to start over in Cherkasy, where they were embraced by the Jewish community. They arrived in a new city with no place to live and no job, and nothing but the clothes on their backs. Mrs. Sotnikov’s eyes fill with tears when she talks about the challenges the family has faced, but she is grateful that they are together and safe. She is grateful, too, for the financial assistance, clothes, hygiene products, and other support provided by JRNU.
We help families like the Sotnikovs in Cherkasy, and all across the country, overcome the many challenges of relocating to a new community. With your support, and the support of local leaders and residents, we are able to provide for individuals' daily needs and help them rebuild their lives. Together we save lives and restore hope.