July 13, 2024
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Jewish Community Reacts to Russia’s Assault on Ukraine

They may not have military forces to mobilize or meaningful sanctions to impose. Yet our Jewish communal organizations quickly rose to the occasion and found ways to make a real difference in the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine.

Below are excerpts from recent statements from several leading national and local Jewish organizations.

 

Orthodox Union

“The attention of the world is riveted on the developing situation in Ukraine. The outbreak of a war that affects the entire country and the region is especially worrisome to the Jewish communities of Ukraine. We are in contact with individuals and organizations who have been engaged in heroic efforts to assist and support the hundreds of thousands of individuals affected and the many reborn Torah communities in the region.

“At this critical time, we must all engage in tefillah (sincere prayer) for world peace, שלום בעולם, and for the safety and vitality of Acheinu Bnai Yisrael, the individuals and communities involved. The Orthodox Union is establishing a Ukraine Crisis Fund that will support those heroic efforts on the ground. 100% of proceeds will go to the cause.”

To make a donation, go to: https://tinyurl.com/yb2ywnhm

 

Religious Zionists of America/Mizrachi

“As we see the worrying news from Ukraine, our hearts and thoughts are with all Ukrainians, and especially our Jewish brothers and sisters. The World Mizrachi movement is in contact with local Jewish leaders to see how we can help out. As we enter Shabbat, we know that one of the most important things we can do is to join in Tefilla, to pray for peace and security for all. This Tefilla was written by Rav Natan, one of the students of Rav Nachman of Breslov, and one of the most important Ukrainian Rabbis in history. May the prayers of the global Jewish community be answered, and may the Sukkat Shalom spread over all the world.”

 

Agudath Israel of America

“Agudath Israel of America views with grave concern the danger to the people of Ukraine, and specifically the large Jewish population—one of the largest in Europe—who find themselves trapped in a dire situation. War, traditionally, has not been kind to Jews, and we ask our constituents to include the Jews of Ukraine in all their prayers.

“Agudath Israel is working with trusted partners in Ukraine to facilitate aid and evacuation efforts. We encourage all who can to contribute generously to our Ukraine Relief Fund, by going to Agudah.org/Ukraine or by calling 917-795-4414.”

 

Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

“In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey has joined the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) $20 million emergency campaign to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Jewish populations living in Ukraine. Funds will be allocated through Jewish Federations’ core partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, The Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT, and others who are on the ground in Ukraine, and will provide critical welfare where it is needed most and support to protect and safeguard Ukraine’s Jewish community as well as Jews in neighboring countries.

“Funds will support urgent necessities of vulnerable Jewish populations, community security, temporary housing for displaced persons, emergency needs in Jewish schools and aliyah-related assistance. According to Jason Shames, CEO, ‘This Federation has had a long-standing relationship with Ukraine and in particular the city of L’vov. We are devastated by the news of what is transpiring and can only hope this will be resolved quickly. In the meantime, we are there for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine’.”

 

Jewish Federation of Metrowest (Union and Essex Counties)

“As we sit here on the other side of the world listening to the reports of countless explosions targeting military installations and infrastructure, our friends in Ukraine are in our hearts. And it’s clear that the Jewish people in Ukraine need us now more than ever.

“Here’s what we know: Jewish Federations of North America and our partner organizations, JAFI, JDC and World ORT, all have mobilized their extensive operations on the ground. They have shared with us the below urgent needs:

Helping people make aliyah to Israel

Securing the local community and its institutions

Maintaining critical welfare services

Assisting internally displaced people in multiple locations

Launching an emergency hotline

Securing temporary housing for people in transit

Purchasing satellite phones to maintain communications across the region

Securing five Jewish schools and training staff to manage crisis needs

“Federation is positioned to respond to the current crisis in Ukraine through our annual campaign. It’s what sustains an unparalleled network of partner organizations that enables us to respond
immediately in times of crisis. It is why we were there when the pandemic isolated thousands, when rockets rained on Israel, when a full-scale Russian invasion is underway and multiple Jewish communities are in critical need, we have the infrastructure to respond, and respond quickly.”

 

Jewish Federation in the Heart Of New Jersey (Middlesex And Monmouth Counties)

“We are working to get help to those in need as quickly as possible through our partner organizations, The Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC and World ORT, which have mobilized their extensive operations on the ground. Together we have been preparing for this worst-case scenario for weeks.

“Plans now in motion rely on the strong presence built up through years of Federation support that is today serving as a critical lifeline to help protect and safeguard Ukraine’s Jewish community, the many important Jewish organizations working in Ukraine, as well as Jews in neighboring countries. We pray for safety for all, and for a speedy end to the hostilities.

As of now, we are aware that:

The Jewish Agency is focusing on aliyah and community security, while JDC is looking to maintain critical welfare services and assist internally displaced people in multiple locations.

Both JDC and the Jewish Agency have identified new and immediate needs, including emergency preparations and stockpiling of goods for JDC Heseds, moving the Jewish Agency operation from Kyiv to Lviv, initiating the Jewish Agency Aliyah hotline, securing temporary housing for people in transit, and the purchase of satellite phones to maintain communications across the region.

World ORT is preparing an updated request to support their school communities with humanitarian aid, and to ensure that schools and staffs are equipped to respond to emergency needs at the school locations.

“We will continue to keep you posted as we consult with key leadership. “

 

UJA-Federation of New York

“UJA-Federation of New York approved up to $3 million in emergency funding to support the Jewish community of Ukraine. These funds will be used by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency (JAFI), and other grassroots partners to provide for the safety and well-being of the approximately 200,000 Jews living today in Ukraine.

Specifically, our funding will help to support:

Critical humanitarian aid—including delivery of food, medicine, winter relief and emergency assistance.

Bolstering security at Jewish institutions, including JCCs in Kharkiv, Odessa, Dnipro, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia and Lviv.

Mobilizing an existing network of thousands of volunteers to reach Jews across every part of Ukraine.

Responding to emerging needs—including people displaced from their homes.

Mobile medical units to reach the homebound.

Coordinating with local Jewish organizations and partners to ensure a united emergency response.”

By Harry Glazer

 

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