For the last three to four weeks we have heard warnings from our leadership about an impending incursion of Russia into Ukraine.
Over the last week President Biden’s warnings became more and more definitive.
Just over 36 hours ago we witnessed what we all hoped would never happen: a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine is home to 200,000+ Jews who are now facing a humanitarian crisis. While many Diaspora Jews talk of their family roots being in Russia, the fact is that many of us “came from” Ukraine. If it doesn’t feel personal, it should…. this could have been our parents, grandparents or great grandparents. Whether it is your direct family or not, it is our Jewish family.
Our partners report multiple explosions targeting military installations and infrastructure in Ukraine. Airports are closed, and the noncombatants have been advised to stay home. We are in close communications with our partners so that we can better assess the needs of the Jewish community in Ukraine who suddenly find themselves trapped, isolated, and on the front lines of a terrifying military invasion.
At its very core, at the genesis of the Federation movement, is the concept of providing rescue and relief. While it has been a while since a Jewish community was directly threatened like this, it is now happening before our very eyes.
Already identified immediate and short-term needs have been estimated at $20,000,000. Including funding for
- Aliyah and community security: to protect those who leave or stay;
- Maintaining critical welfare services: for those we are supported day in and day out;
- Assisting internally displaced people in multiple locations: Aiding Jews in need in 1,000+ locations across Ukraine;
- Stockpile for goods: across 1,000+ locations;
- Launch of an Aliyah Helpline: for those who need expedited support;
- Securing temporary housing: for people in transit, escaping the conflict zones;
- Purchase of satellite phones: to maintain communications across the region;
- Securing five Jewish schools: and training staff to manage crisis needs.
At its very core, the genesis of the Federation movement is the concept of providing rescue and relief. While it has benn a while since a Jewish community was directly threatened like this, it is now happening before our very eyes.
So many of you reached out to ask how you can help. Every community across the United States (and throughout the world) are part of a Ukraine Emergency Fund so that we can continue to show our solidarity and support for the Ukrainian Jewish community.
100% of your gift will provide direct support to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and our partners on the ground in Ukraine to help the most vulnerable. Assistance will include food, shelter, medicine, and other basic needs. We hope you will give generously....it could be us.
We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will coordinate with our international partners to determine what additional support can be provided as this frightening situation continues to unfold.
Thanks for your ongoing support and partnership. Please give generously!