Xena and Galya have both been volunteering as the Minsk Jewish Campus coat ladies since it was founded in 2002, and they plan on continuing their services “until Minsk doesn’t have winters anymore,” as Xena aptly put it. From Shabbat services, to family club, to Yiddish concerts, Xena and Galya are present at every important event to relieve cold community members of their heavy winter-wear.
Besides contributing their time, both babushkas have trained their offspring to be future leaders of the Jewish community. Galya has 2 grandchildren who are frequent visitors at Jewish events, and Xena’s granddaughter is on the Hillel board.
Although there are still snow flurries in Minsk, the ladies will not be taking coats again until October, when people start wearing heavy coats again.