History of the fund

The House of Mercy

The first Hesed in Western Ukraine was founded in August 21, 1998 in the ancient city of Lviv. It has been given a courageous name — “Lion”. In translation from Hebrew “hesed” it means “mercy”, consequently “mercy in Lviv”.

Within 15 years of its existence “Hesed-Arieh” has been looking for and assisting the needy elderly Jews, members of their families and the Righteous Among the Nations.

Children and our clients with special needs is a separate and extremely important part of Hesed’s activity.

In 1998 the first 450 customers received their assistance, currently it turned into more than 5000 needy people from Drohobych, Boryslav, Sambir, Stryy, lvano-Frankivsk and many others small towns and villages.

Social assistance to the needy people is not the only goal of our Foundation. Its activity is also focused on cultural revival of Jewish community, preservation of the huge Western Ukrainian Jewish cultural and historical heritage — a real pride for all Western Ukrainian Jewry.

Numerous Jewish festivals, exhibitions and conferences are organized in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and tolerance. Following our first steps in the field of social-cultural activity in 1998, now we can boast of six festivals: of Jewish book (2000 — 2006), community festival of Jewish crafts and art “Flamed-mane Lion” (2005) and three International festivals of Jewish stage art “Constellation of Lion” (2002, 2004, 2006), ten International Festivals of Klezmer Music “LvivKlezFest” (2009-2018), scientific conference “Andrey Sheptitskiy. The dilemma of choice under the conditions of totalitarian regimes” and the international inter-confessional students’ camp “The Ark”, etc.

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