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Rabbi Ilana in Poland

Engaging Ukrainian Child Refugees in Poland

Pull quote from Rabbi IlanaJewish Silicon Valley’s Russian-Speaking Program Manager, Rabbi Ilana Baird, was recently on the ground in Poland working at a children’s summer camp for Ukrainian refugees. Rabbi Ilana was recruited alongside 11 other Jewish, Russian-speaking educators and rabbinic leaders from around the world by the Jewish Federations of North America to travel to Warsaw and Krakow. Together, they worked to support the Ukrainian children as they transition to a new life in Poland. Amidst crisis in their homeland, the recreational and educational day camp activities helped the child refugees reconnect with normalcy – and fun!

Her incredible efforts were recently featured in the Associated Press and the Jewish News Syndicate.

We are grateful and honored that Rabbi Ilana was able to answer the call to help those in need.


Rabbi Ilana’s personal notes…

I am in Poland. Working with Ukrainian children. It’s a very difficult work. Not because I worked with children for 8.5 hours nonstop. But also because the stories of those children are heart touching. Today one girl was drawing a dog. She was attached to the picture for the rest of the day. She also drowned a heart in white and black (on the last picture). She said it reminds her a dog that her family had back home, but now she has no dog (and she sighed like a grownup person… at the age of 5)…

Translated in Russian:

Работа с детьми беженцев в Польше очень тяжелая. Не только потому что я бегала не передохнув на протяжении 8,5 часов. А потому что истории там разные. Например, девочка пяти лет нарисовала собаку. И не расставалась с этим рисунком до конца дня. Она также нарисовала сердце и раскрасила черно-белым. И сказала, что там, дома у неё была собака. Но уже нет. И она вздохнула… как взрослый человек. В свои 5 лет…. У меня есть ещё истории, но это в другой раз.

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