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Jewish Orgs Provide Direct Aid to Ukrainian Refugees

The Jewish community can take pride in the fact that a few prominent Jewish and Israeli organizations aren’t just collecting funds to assist in the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Ukraine; they are also providing direct aid to the refugees.

 

Orthodox Union

In a press release on Thursday, March 10, the Orthodox Union stated: “Among the millions of Ukrainians fleeing or trying to survive in war-torn Ukraine, there are 200,000 Ukrainian Jews in dire need of food and medical supplies. The Orthodox Union and its partners tonight are sending almost 6,000 kosher, self-heating meals and thousands of pounds of other kosher food and medical supplies from Newark Liberty and JFK airports to Ukrainian refugees via Poland.” The OU sent additional airlifts of kosher food to refugees via Poland on Saturday night, March 12, as well.

 

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

The Jewish Federations of North America reported on March 10: “The JDC has so far helped evacuate over 2,800 Jewish community members in Ukraine, while at the same time they are caring for some of the community’s most vulnerable individuals who are unable or unwilling to evacuate. The organization’s hotlines are receiving more and more calls each day. Some 70% of requests are for food, medicines and evacuation, while other needs include equipment loans, warming products, psychological support, requests for information and more.” JDC’s centers in Moldova have already taken in around 2,500 refugees. Their coordination work has enabled faster and more coordinated response to different issues faced by the refugees in the area.

 

World ORT

The Jewish Federations of North America reported on March 10: “World ORT has representatives at an evacuation site on the Polish border with Ukraine, which accommodates many thousands of people—mainly children, women and the elderly. ORT is working with partners in the region to provide essential items to Ukrainians waiting on the border as well as ORT schools and communities in Kyiv, Odessa, Zaporozhe, Chernivtsi and Belaya Tzerkov.”

 

The World Zionist Organization (WZO)

The Jewish Federations of North America reported on March 10th: “The first professional mental-health care delegation from the WZO for Jewish refugees from Ukraine landed in Poland on Sunday morning. The WZO responded to a call from the chief rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, and recruited the first delegation of its kind in the field of resilience and post-trauma mental-health care to fly out and assist with the care of refugees. This delegation will be engaging in on-the-ground care and treatment, and training caregivers from the Jewish community in Poland. The delegation will work directly with Jewish refugees from Ukraine and will take advantage of the experience that the state of Israel has in the field of trauma. The delegation includes psychologists and social workers from the Israel Trauma Coalition, a Federation partner, and members of the WZO’s Departments of Diaspora and Community Resilience.”

 

UJA-Federation of New York

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on March 11: “Nineteen local rabbis will depart to the Ukrainian-Polish border this weekend to distribute food and medical supplies to Ukrainian refugees. They will also provide rabbinical support to Jews fleeing the Russian invasions, and assess the current and future needs of Ukrainian refugees. The trip is being organized by the UJA-Federation of New York … The coalition rabbis represent synagogues in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. Arriving on Sunday and leaving on Tuesday, the group will stop in major refugee transit hubs in Poland, including Przemsyl, Lublin and Srodborow.”

 

Agudath Israel of America

In a note on their website on Monday, March 14, Agudath Israel of America stated regarding their Agudath Ukraine Crisis Fund: “The money collected is being sent and used to save neshamos almost as fast as it is coming in. The need for funds to help people escape the Ukrainian war zone, and for food, lodging, and other necessities for refugees is mounting. We are doing whatever is necessary, including privately airlifting food and medical supplies over enemy lines to those in immediate need, and opening warehouses in Poland.” As of Sunday, March 13, the Agudath’s Ukraine Fund had raised nearly $12 million dollars.

 

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America

A news story posted March 9 on the Hadassah website describes an initiative by three physicians—Dr. Shaul Beyth, Dr. Asaf Kedar and Dr. Yaarit Ribak—comprising the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO)’s initial humanitarian mission to Poland. According to the story, the group established “three objectives for their voyage to this near-war zone”: to establish connections with their peers in the Medical University of Lublin, the city’s largest hospital, just 70 miles from Poland’s border with Ukraine; to assess the needs of their Polish colleagues in providing trauma services to the refugees; and to support the refugees with basic humanitarian care.”

 

The American Jewish Committee

In a press release on Sunday, March 13, the American Jewish Committee stated: “American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris led an AJC group to Poland on a three-day visit to demonstrate solidarity with Ukrainians who have fled their country, seeking safety in Poland and other neighboring countries. He saluted the many Polish volunteers, who have been setting up tents, providing basic sanitary and food supplies, as well as opened their homes to some refugees. ‘What’s amazing is how the Polish people have organized to help,’ said Harris at a Warsaw train station where refugees are receiving humanitarian relief and guidance for resettling. ‘It’s inspiring. It’s the true meaning of humanity.’”

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