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Facing extreme weather, elderly in E. Europe getting extra help

(JTA) — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee activated its emergency response system in the wake of extreme winter weather in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The system provides additional care to tens of thousands of Jewish elderly, as well as young families. In addition to heating fuel, blankets, warm clothes, jackets and boots, the JDC has been called on to provide additional electric heaters and food to the homebound.

Some of the hardest-hit areas include the Balkans and Ukraine.

"We’ve been able to mobilize quickly and respond to this latest deep freeze because emergency protocols are inherent to our historic winter relief program," said said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. "For these Jews, many of whom have no one else to turn to, we are there to ensure an extra lifeline and much-needed sense of community at this time."

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