Ukraine Emergency Updates

Ukraine Emergency Updates

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Federation is closely attuned to the news and updates from the region. Federation and our partners remain deeply committed to meeting the critical needs of Ukraine’s more than 200,000 Jews.

Current and Future Needs in Ukraine

A year into the crisis, Jews from Ukraine need us more than ever. The country is in the midst of a bitter winter, and temperatures frequently drop below freezing. Recent escalations have damaged much of Ukraine’s electricity and heating infrastructure, leaving many without light and warmth. Because of this, Ukraine’s Jewish community is contending with a host of frightening and new winter-related challenges as well as ongoing economic decline.
To meet this dire need, Federation and our network of global partners are working around the clock to provide winter survival and material support, and other aid to poor and vulnerable Jews. This includes:

  • Providing 22,000+ people with winter survival needs, including: wood, coal, canned and dehydrated foods, support for covering utilities costs, heaters, warm clothes, blankets, sub-zero sleeping bags, and electric bedding.
  • With Federation support, JDC Hesed social service centers and JDC-supported community service centers are being converted into warming centers with generators for those who do not have access to heat or electricity. Should power fail, the shelters will offer refuge and community to poor and vulnerable Jews.
  • Expansion of JOINTECH – JDC’s remote care and online community programs — that has provided life-saving assistance and trauma support during the conflict and pandemic. By putting technology in the hands of JDC clients and caregivers, we have been able to locate and assist Jews in danger, ensure connection to Jewish life and decrease loneliness among the homebound and those in isolated locations.
  • Resettlement and integration assistance for refugees in Jewish communities in Europe, including: food, medicine, accommodation, trauma support, educational scholarships, camping, and workforce training and integration.
  • Strengthening Ukrainian hospitals and supporting access to healthcare for non-Jewish populations in Ukraine and refugees remaining in Europe.

Our Impact

To date, Federation’s Ukraine Emergency Fund and Federations across North America have raised a collective $73 million to meet urgent needs, and we are immensely grateful to the thousands you who have given so generously. The Jewish Federations of North America are leveraging funds raised to create matching grants to local Jewish Federations to build capacity within social service organizations to support displaced Ukrainians in their communities. Together, we are making a difference.

A year into the crisis, our partners continue to provide life-saving care for tens of thousands of Jews in Ukraine, thousands of Jewish refugees remaining in Europe, and also to thousands of non-Jewish Ukrainians.

Over the last year, your support has:

  • Continued life-saving services (food, medicine, and homecare) for more than 43,000 Jews in Ukraine, including poor, elderly, and newly impoverished Jews.
  • Distributed over 800 tons of humanitarian assistance.
  • Evacuated over 13,000 Jews from Ukraine, including 170 medical evacuations of frail and sick elderly.
  • Provided winter survival aid to tens of thousands of Jews, which included subsidies for heat, as well as wood and coal.
  • Aided over 40,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing to neighboring countries at border crossings, supplying vital necessities such as food, medicine, shelter, and guidance, in partnership with European Jewish communities.
  • Fielded over 67,600 calls and requests for help via our emergency hotlines.
  • Provided nonsectarian medical aid and psychosocial support to 20,000 Ukrainian refugees and supported medical facilities in Ukraine, including the distribution of telemedicine devices, training in their use, and critically needed wheelchairs and crutches.

As of February 2023

Federation in the News

From March 13th to Match 15th, Federation CEO, Gil Preuss, represented the Greater Washington Jewish Community in Poland and at the Ukraine broader during one of the first Jewish Federations of North America humanitarian missions to the region. Equipped with two suitcases of donated supplies for those in need. Gil met with volunteers working on the ground, and with Ukrainian refugees — the majority of whom are women, children, and the elderly — to hear their experiences and offer help.

While on the ground, Gil provided updates to news outlets about what he was seeing and how our community could help.

Gil Represents Greater Washington in Poland and on Ukraine’s Border: Early Monday morning on March 14th, Gil arrived in Poland for one of the first Jewish Federations of North America humanitarian missions to Ukraine equipped with two suitcases of donated supplies for those in need. Gil met with volunteers working on the ground, and with Ukrainian refugees — the majority of whom are women, children, and the elderly — to hear their experiences and offer help. Read Gil’s updates on Twitter and watch his video message.

Updates From Our Partners

We are grateful to our longtime global partners – JDC, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and World ORT – for their swift work on the ground to care for those in the midst of this unfolding trauma. Please read on for their ongoing updates on the situation.

As Jews flee the growing violence in Ukraine, JDC is providing thousands of refugees safe harbor in neighboring countries, with thousands more expected as the war continues.
Watch the video

Aliyah flight from Ukraine_Eli Mandelbaum for The Jewish Agency for Israel
Photographer: Eli Mandelbaum

Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, welcomed Jewish orphans who escaped the war in Ukraine.
Read the story

Jewish refugees leaving Warsaw for Israel Olivier Fitoussi for The Jewish Agency for Israel March 6 2022
Photographer: Olivier Fitoussi

Long bus rides, temporary shelters and lots of phone calls: Inside the Jewish response to the mounting refugee crisis in Poland.
Read the story

Holocaust survivors are particularly vulnerable during times of war, and JDC is providing vital support to those with nowhere else to turn.
Watch the video