JDC Helps Evacuate Jews from Areas Under Attack
Since the Russian attacks began, the “JDC SOS” van, ordinarily used to deliver much-needed assistance to elderly Hesed clients, has become an emergency vehicle, helping move Georgian Jews of all ages from areas under heavy attack to safety while also bringing relief such as food, water and medicines to clients who have chosen to remain in their homes.
Amidst severe bombings, the “JDC SOS” van has continued to distribute food to families. On August 10, the van helped evacuate another seven Jewish families, including an elderly couple, a single elderly Jew, and the Shatashvily family of three women—grandmother, daughter and granddaughter. All these evacuees were immediately provided with basic necessities, including food and clothing.
JDC and Local Heseds Help Families in Distress
When the first bomb fell at a tank unit near Suhishvili Street -- which was one of the first targets in an air wave – it smashed the balcony of a family unit: the home of Gulnara Mamistvalov, 50, her husband Nodari Putkaradze, 73, and their daughter, 15. The balcony’s collapse blocked the entrance doors and sent the family running out into the yard. Four or five additional airstrikes would ensue before the family finally managed to escape in an old car in the garage and head to Tbilisi. But Nodari had already sustained serious injuries during the attack.
Nodari and his family are currently staying at the Tbilisi Hospital, where he is being treated for injuries to his kidney, lungs and anklebones. He is expected to undergo surgery. Gulnara has suffered severe trauma after witnessing countless deaths and experiencing her own dramatic escape.
Within hours of the family’s arrival in Tbilisi, JDC provided the family with nutritious fresh food packages to last several days, medications, bed linens, clothing, footwear and other basic necessities. On August 10, Hesed workers from nearby “Hesed Elliau” and JDC staff visited with the family in Tbilisi Hospital.
Gulnara’s elderly parents—both completely blind—were left behind in Gori. Their status is unknown but JDC will follow up.
JDC Delivers Food to Gori’s Remaining Jews
In Georgia, houses and buildings have quickly become targets under the air raids. An estimated fifteen Jews remain in Gori, which continues to experience severe attacks. Without access to shops or any public services, Georgians can only remain inside their homes in fear and without food, gas or electricity.
On August 11, Dato Moshiashvili, Director of the Gori Hesed—one of several local entities by which JDC provides welfare assistance to the elderly in the region—decided to evacuate his wife and two young children to Tbilisi. The next day, Dato returned to his native Gori—but not alone. He arrived by way of a JDC van and, together with JDC relief workers, he was able to deliver large fresh food packages to the doors of his clients.
JDC remains dedicated to ensuring that those who have chosen to stay — or simply cannot leave — will receive basic needs as they experience the stress of the conflict.