The first part of the project “Virtual Journey for Homebodies” has come to an end. During this time, thanks to the cooperation with the Chesed Baruch IDEA, we compiled a list of needy single members of the community in Bykhov and Shklov, and also identified their needs as a result of a personal conversation with them and their relatives. Before the visit to the wards, we prepared for a long time: they made gift sets, which included painted hamsa, house plants grown by volunteers and children’s crafts, collected books and clothes, bought food and small household items.
At one of the meetings of the volunteers, it became clear that there are also 3 Jewish elderly families in the village of Chausy. We decided to expand the project and include the Chauses. As a result, at the moment two trips to the village of Chausy and Bykhov have already taken place. In Chausy we visited two Jewish families: the Teslenko family (the mother, born in 1936, and the son with a disability, was born in 1971) and the Kirshenbaum family (two pensioners, born in 1949). The volunteers presented them gifts and souvenirs, as well as got acquainted with the life of these families and the history of the village of Chausy, a former Jewish town. After the visit to both families, the volunteers visited a Jewish cemetery and a monument to the victims of Nazism in the village of Chausy.
In the town of Bykhov we visited the Dvoskin family, who invited three more of their elderly friends from Hesed to meet with us. In a friendly conversation at the table, we told them about the Jewish community of Belarus and about the natives of Belarus in Israel. We also listened to several fascinating stories from the life of the Jews in this city. All guests received gifts and new things, and the hospitable host was given some interesting books in addition. Those elderly people who could not come to the meeting, we visited at home.
Thus, during this time we visited 14 elderly Jews who rarely leave the house and therefore are deprived of contact with society. We attracted 5 volunteers to volunteer activity, who expressed their desire to help the project permanently and more than 30 participants in charity events to collect gifts for wards from small towns. In the future, we plan to visit single elderly Jews in the city of Shklov, including former ghetto prisoners.