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Social Projects
Project «Ezra»

Project «Ezra» aims to support children and young people with illnesses or disabilities. For example, we finance medical aid for them and their families, including hospital beds or wheelchairs. In addition, we facilitate necessary medical treatment abroad (usually in neighboring countries).

Support can likewise include providing for basic necessities, such as supermarket vouchers. It can also include financing professional and work-related infrastructure and social integration, like purchasing a laptop computer.


Between 45 to 50 children and young people are recommended by our specialists to participate in this project annually. This selection group consists of representatives of our partner organization «Chesed-Rachamim» Jewish Center in Minsk, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee («The Joint»), and a social worker from the Jewish Families Outdoor Center (also managed by «The Joint»).


Financial contributions also enable the chosen children and young people to be cared for at home in a familiar environment. Project Ezra is particularly critical now because, in 2009, a law was passed in Belarus requiring children with intellectual disabilities to be cared for in specialized centers. However, these centers typically lack specialized staff with experience in dealing with children with disabilities. In addition, children with severe disabilities are often not accepted.


Our encounters with supported children, young people, and their families deeply touch the participants and us. And they prove that even small contributions make big differences.

Two testimonials:



Emilia Goldmann, 7 years old, has been deaf since birth. The girl received a cochlear implant in her right ear. The task now is to teach Emilia not only to hear, but also to speak. The first implant was inserted free of charge, but the other technical consumables (batteries, etc.) must now be paid for by the family. Thanks to the support of ajs, the family can bear this financial burden, about $500 per year.

Emilia's family would like to have a second implant inserted, but would have to cover the costs themselves, approximately $30,000 (including speech processor).


Emilia's parents are doing everything they can to help their daughter develop and socialize. The girl is taking part in various training sessions and is beginning to talk a little, making simple sentences. The doctors hope that her speaking will improve in the future.

The Goldmann family is deeply grateful to ajs for this financial help:

"Your support will help us achieve our goal.

Emilia is already able to say simple sentences and we hope for the best."

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Yana Berezkina_2022 (003).jpg


Yana Berezkina (left of her twin sister), 13 years old, suffers from a pituitary gland disease. Despite a private examination in 2020, the doctors failed to diagnose the exact disease; a brain tumor was wrongly diagnosed and hastily operated on.

A difficult rehabilitation process began in 2021. Around that time, an employee of the family support program heard about Yana's fate and brought her to Chesed.

Yana’s mother says:

"Two years ago, Viktoria von Chessed came to me by chance. I am very happy that when she heard about our situation, she told me that there is a Swiss association that helps children who have experienced serious illnesses. This help is very much appreciated in our family. Above all, it is the attention that shows us that we are not left alone with our problem. In addition, thanks to this help, we can provide our daughter Yana with appropriate rehabilitation. Proper and important examinations can be carried out in a timely manner. We can also have blood tests done in private laboratories that determine her condition and changes quickly and precisely, so that we do not have to wait months for the results. We can also buy good medicine and good food for Yana."

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