The life of Victoria Leshiner, a Jewish woman living in Donetsk, Ukraine, was completely normal until about a month ago. When the war began, she started looking for a way out with her two children, a 20-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.
Having lived in Israel some 20 years ago, she decided to immigrate to Israel as a returning resident. Unfortunately, since men under 60 are not permitted to leave, Victoria fled Ukraine with her children and moved to an apartment in Tel Aviv where her brother lives.
Victoria Leshiner, a Jewish Ukrainian refugee in Israel, now works at MDA’s Refugee Call Center.
A few days after settling in, she looked for work to support her new life and help Ukrainian refugees. When the story became known to MDA personnel, they contacted her and offered her a job at the Refugee Call Center. The Center helps Ukrainian refugees locate missing relatives, obtain medical assistance, and navigate social services and governmental agencies.
“I immigrated to Israel in mid-March, after the fighting reached the area of our home in Ukraine,” says Leshiner. “I immediately looked for a job, where I could help refugees and finance my stay here. I arrived at the Refugee Call Center to find an exciting and special world.
“MDA trusts me and loves me and my work, and beyond the organization’s great medical capabilities, they have a huge soul. My work here has great significance for me. Those who were not there can’t understand the magnitude of the disaster — people are homeless, without water, food, or medicine. Children see bodies on the street and the planes continue to bomb.
“Thank God there is the State of Israel, which helps Ukraine and sends a long-distance hug to the refugees. I wish that peace will return to Ukraine and that calmer and more peaceful times will come.”
The Magen David Adom Refugee Call Center is run in collaboration with the Ministry of Welfare and JDC Israel.