11 March 2022
This Sunday, I am honored to be traveling to Poland and the border of Ukraine with The Jewish Federations of North America to represent our community and learn more about the developing crisis. Ours will be among the first official humanitarian missions to Ukraine to directly address the needs of 200,000 Ukrainian Jews on the ground, and I hope to share frequent updates from the experience.
This mission is timed, perhaps appropriately, with our traditional retelling of the Purim story. As we listen to the megillah (scroll) this year, to the familiar story of a power-hungry narcissist set on destroying an entire population, it may feel especially profound. Let us also find resonance in its teachings — that together, we can and will fight the Hamans of our day and support those being attacked and persecuted.
To that end, I am deeply inspired by the outpouring of generosity from the more than 2,000 of you who have contributed to these efforts. Thanks to so many of you, Federation’s Ukraine Emergency Fund has now raised more than $1 million. In collaboration with our global partners, including JDC, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and others on the ground, we’ve helped:
- 1,000 Jewish Ukrainian refugees, including 100 orphans, arrive and begin resettling in Israel.
- 2,000 Jews arrive at Aliyah (immigration to Israel) processing centers run by JAFI and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
- 16,000 Ukrainian Jews reach The Jewish Agency’s emergency hotline.
- 3,000 Jewish refugees secure beds at transit facilities in four neighboring countries.
- 150 Jewish organizations across Ukraine receive immediate security assistance to protect against looting and vandalism.
- 3,000 Ukrainian Jews many of them children secure transit advice, food, clothing, and emergency supplies.
Of course, the needs on the ground in Ukraine continue to grow and evolve. Please consider donating if you haven’t already. With each passing day, more and more people are seeking shelter, clothing, food, and security, and you can make a direct impact on the lives of Ukrainian Jews.
Lastly, I invite you to join Federation for a Special Briefing on Ukraine this Tuesday, March 15th at 12:30 PM. JDC CEO, Ariel Zwang, and The Jewish Agency for Israel CEO and Director General, Amira Ahronoviz, will share the latest updates from their organizations’ work. Register here.
As the war continues, our community’s support is providing hope and saving lives. Stay tuned to Federation’s emails and social media for updates, and visit our website for the latest from our partners on the ground — and my own reports from the mission.
Thank you again for all that you do, locally and around the world. I am proud and honored to be part of this caring, compassionate, and generous Jewish community.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Purim Sameach — may this truly be a Shabbat of peace and a Purim where we will once again triumph over evil and hatred.
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