Unrest in Ukraine: Jewish Federation Update

Ukraine has been wracked by conflict for more than a year, and the resulting economic and political instability have profoundly affected the country’s more than 350,000 Jews. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes in eastern Ukraine—the first time Jews in Europe have been displaced since World War II. Others remain trapped in the battle-torn region. And throughout the country, security concerns have Jews and Jewish institutions on high alert.

 

With a tenuous truce in place there has been some relief for the Jewish community and Ukraine overall. But all continue to brace for what could be a new surge in the fighting.  

 

For decades, Ukrainian Jews have depended on the support of North American Jewry, particularly Jewish Federation and its partner agencies. This crisis is no different.

 

To date, Federations have raised and allocated more than $2.5 million through the Ukraine Assistance Fund to meet the immediate needs of Ukrainian Jews and facilitate aliyah for those who want to relocate. That aid has meant the difference between life and death for nearly 100,000 Jews throughout the country.

 

 


 

Our Response in Ukraine


 

 

This desperate situation speaks to the most fundamental reasons why Federations are so critical. We have not turned away. We are on the ground, and we are making a difference. Here’s how:

 

  • We deliver basic needs like food, medicine and emergency homecare service for tens of thousands of Jews, as well as warm clothes, blankets and heating supplies to help them survive the long freezing winter. And it’s not just the most vulnerable groups, like the elderly and the disabled, who require aid. With economic life at a standstill and unemployment rampant, young middle-class families need extra support just to get by.

 

  • We provide the nearly 7,000 Jews who have had to flee their homes or who remain trapped in conflict zones with basic necessities, as well as trauma support and related services, to help them survive in radically changed living circumstances.

 

  • We direct funds to dozens of synagogues, schools, community center and agencies for increased security needs, including additional guards, camera and alarm systems and infrastructure fortification upgrades. 

 

  • We aid and counsel Jews considering aliyah with the entire relocation process, and provide safe transportation and housing for new immigrants in Israel.

 

For more on how we're helping, please listen to the JFNA/JCPA teleconference with Mark Levin of NCSEJ, Bilana Sahar of The Jewish Agency for Israel and Shira Genish of JDC.

 

Federation is committed to working with our partners at home and abroad—American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT and Israel Trauma Coalition—throughout this crisis. We are continuing to collect donations through our Ukraine mailbox. Donate now.
 

For information about emerging needs and funding opportunities within the Ukrainian Jewish community, please contact Rebecca Caspi.