For the past twenty years, one of my favorite artifacts in my office has been a sample JDC food package. On the side of the relatively small box is a list of the dry goods, flour, salt, and so on, that were delivered by the JDC on a monthly basis to Hesed clients in the Former Soviet Union.
And for those twenty years, I've told the stories of what for me were nameless and faceless senior adults, living in third or fourth or fifth floor walk-ups, homebound and relying on the JDC - and on our financial support - for their daily sustenance.
Over those twenty years, the JDC's system has changed. They no longer provide food packages but instead debit cards for food and medicine. And, over those twenty years, having never been to the Former Soviet Union myself, all I had to associate with that story was that box - now a relic of the JDC Hesed program.
That changed for me late this morning when I climbed the stairs to enter Irina