“The history of the Jewish people is one of displacement, either because of pogrom or war. We are only too aware of what it means to be forced to up-and-leave at a moment’s notice. In almost every one of our communities you will hear such stories,” stated EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin.
As war in Ukraine enters a second week, Europe is witnessing a huge influx of refugees fleeing Ukraine towards the West. Naturally many Ukrainian Jews are included in this surge to safety.
Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), an umbrella group representing hundreds of communities across the continent, has launched a Europe-wide campaign to temporarily provide homes, food and clothing to hundreds of Jewish families whose lives have been torn-apart and up-ended by the conflict in Ukraine.
The appeal has gone out to Jewish communities from Lisbon to Lublin, Bucharest to Bordeaux and everywhere in between.
Speaking after launching the campaign, EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said, “The history of the Jewish people is one of displacement, either because of pogrom or war. We are only too aware of what it means to be forced to up-and-leave at a moment’s notice. In almost every one of our communities you will hear such stories. From generations ago from Spain or Galicia, from the war, to emigrating to Israel. I say this because we are especially attuned to these catastrophes. And because we are so attuned, we are pre-programmed to help our Jewish neighbours, just as we always have.’’
He added, “I have faith that this campaign will deliver. Since the war started Jews from all over Europe have been getting in touch with us to see what can be done to help their Ukrainian Jewish brothers and sisters in need. We are providing them with the vehicle to do just that, by offering shelter, food and clothing to those who left in a hurry, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jewish organizations are directing aid for tens of thousands of Jews living in the embattled country, assisting refugees who are fleeing the fighting and helping area Jews who have been trying or are hoping to immigrate to Israel.
Below is a partial list of organizations that have ramped up ongoing efforts in the region or opened emergency mailboxes since the start of the war.
• The Jewish Federations of North America has an emergency mailbox for helping people immigrate to Israel, securing the local Ukrainian community and its institutions and maintaining critical welfare services, among other needs.
• The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has a longstanding presence in the country, assisting impoverished seniors and supporting a network of Jewish community centers and social service agencies.
• The American Jewish Committee’s emergency #StandWithUkraine fund is pledging to direct 100 percent of the funds to those meeting urgent needs in Ukraine, including IsraAID, the rapid response Israeli relief agency, which is assisting refugees of all backgrounds in neighboring Moldova.
• HIAS is working through channels within the US and throughout Europe to support the safe and speedy resettlement of those seeking to leave Ukraine.
• The Jewish Agency for Israel has opened an emergency hotline to provide Ukrainian Jews with guidance and information regarding the immigration process, as well as general assistance.
• The Chabad-Lubavitch movement has a Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund.
• Masorti Olami has a fund for Ukrainian Relief.
• UJA-Federation of New York has a dedicated mailbox supporting its partners providing humanitarian needs in Ukraine.
• Project Kesher is currently supporting an Emergency Fund for Women in Ukraine.
• Agudath Israel has a Ukraine Emergency Relief fund that has raised $10 million as of March 10.
• United Hatzalah of Israel has sent medical professionals to Ukraine’s borders in Operation Orange Wings. Donations to their fund help deliver medical care to Ukraine.
• JRoots runs heritage trips to Poland to tell the story of the Holocaust. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has repurposed to assist Ukrainian refugees into Poland and settle abroad. Contact Ayelet at +972 54-636-6512
• First-responder group IsraAID is on the scene as thousands of Ukrainians seek refuge in Moldova. IsraAID is providing psychological first aid and distributing essential relief supplies. Donations towards emergency support for Ukrainian refugees can be made here.
• Magen David Adom, Israel’s branch of Red Cross International, has established a Russian-language refugee call center. Donations can be made here.
• Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America has opened a fund, “Ukraine in Crisis: Save Lives at Risk!” in support of the Hadassah Medical Organization, which is already treating Ukrainian refugees at its centers in Israel.
• The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of communities across the continent, has launched a Europe-wide campaign to temporarily provide homes, food and clothing to hundreds of Jewish families whose lives have been torn-apart and up-ended by the conflict in Ukraine. For further information contact: +32 (0)476056450
• The Orthodox Union has opened a Ukraine Crisis Fund to support individuals and organizations assisting people on the ground in Ukraine.
• World Jewish Relief has been working in Ukraine for the last 30 years, and has helped 13,000 older and more vulnerable Ukrainians within and beyond the Jewish community in the past year alone. Its Ukraine Crisis Appeal is raising funds to support the organization’s 29 partners in Ukraine, along with partners in neighboring Moldova and Poland, which are providing food, cash, medical, material and psychological support to those fleeing or unable to escape the violence.
• The World Union for Progressive Judaism has launched the Ukraine Crisis Fund to support the safety and well-being of the Ukrainian Jewish community.
• Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal is working with the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government to expedite immigration to Israel for Ukrainian Jews, as well as assist the Jewish community remaining in Ukraine with essential goods such as food, supplies, security and other necessities.
Nachdem der Krieg in der Ukraine in die zweite Woche geht, erlebt Europa einen enormen Zustrom von Flüchtlingen, die aus der Ukraine in den Westen fliehen. Darunter sind auch zahlreiche ukrainische Juden, die sich in Sicherheit bringen wollen.
Die European Jewish Association (EJA) mit Sitz in Brüssel, ein Dachverband, in dem mehrere hundert Gemeinden auf dem gesamten Kontinent vertreten sind, hat eine europaweite Kampagne gestartet, um vorübergehend Wohnungen, Lebensmittel und Kleidung für jüdische Familien bereitzustellen, deren Leben durch den Konflikt in der Ukraine zerrüttet und zerstört worden ist.
Der Aufruf wurde an jüdische Gemeinden von Lissabon bis Lublin, von Bukarest bis Bordeaux in ganz Europa verschickt.
Der Vorsitzende der EJA, Rabbiner Menachem Margolin, sagte nach dem Start der Kampagne: „Die Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes ist eine Geschichte der Vertreibung, sei es durch Pogrome oder Krieg. Wir wissen nur zu gut, was es bedeutet, wenn man gezwungen ist, von einem Moment auf den anderen zu fliehen. In fast jeder unserer Gemeinden werden Sie solche Geschichten hören. Von Generationen aus Spanien oder Galizien, vom Krieg bis zur Auswanderung nach Israel. Ich sage das, weil wir für diese Katastrophen besonders sensibilisiert sind. Und weil wir so sensibilisiert sind, sind wir dazu bestimmt, unseren jüdischen Nachbarn zu helfen, so wie wir es immer getan haben.“
Er fügte hinzu: „Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass diese Kampagne etwas bewirken wird. Seit Beginn des Krieges haben sich Juden aus ganz Europa an uns gewandt, um zu erfahren, wie sie ihren ukrainischen jüdischen Brüdern und Schwestern in Not helfen können. Wir geben ihnen die Möglichkeit, genau das zu tun, indem wir denjenigen, die in aller Eile und oft mit nichts als den Kleidern auf dem Leib das Land verlassen haben, Unterkunft, Essen und Kleidung anbieten.“
It’s a challenging time for Jewish communities in Europe. Anti-Semitism is on the rise as populism and the politics of the lowest common denominator are gaining traction. Our communities often need round the clock protection and our practices and customs such as keeping Kosher are under pressure from increasing political interference.
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