Jewish groups donate millions to assist Ukrainian Jews in need

Ukrainian Jews return to Israel.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Israeli government and Israeli philanthropists are all on board with one mission: Saving and assisting the Jews of Ukraine during the Russian invasion. 

Jewish organizations worldwide have transferred tens of millions of dollars towards emergency assistance to Jewish communities in Ukraine.

Broadly, the Israeli government and Israeli philanthropists are all on board with one mission: Saving and assisting the Jews of Ukraine during the Russian invasion. 

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) have launched a $20 million emergency campaign to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Jewish populations living in Ukraine. Funds will be allocated through Jewish Federations’ core partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, The Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT, and others who are on the ground in Ukraine. The project will provide critical welfare where it is needed most and support to protect and safeguard Ukraine's Jewish community as well as Jews in neighboring countries.

Read more on the Russia-Ukraine War:

JFNA's donation is by far the largest donation towards the cause of emergency funding for Ukrainian Jews. 

Funds will support urgent necessities of vulnerable Jewish populations, community security, temporary housing for displaced persons, emergency needs in Jewish schools and aliyah-related assistance.

A mother talks to her child during a protest against Russia's military operation in Ukraine, outside the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus February 26, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU)

“Jewish Federations are hard at work, day after day, year after year, in times of crisis and calm, to build flourishing Jewish communities,” said Mark Wilf, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Federations of North America. “And when an emergency erupts, we are positioned to meet the challenges of Jewish people and communities around the world.”

“Our crisis response in Ukraine is testimony to the concept of mutual responsibility as suggested by the Talmudic phrase “Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh” - all of Israel are responsible for one another - and the abiding place that this value holds at the heart of Federations’ work,” added President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America Eric Fingerhut.

Current plans for this crisis rely on the strong presence built up through years of Jewish Federation support that is today serving as a critical lifeline to help protect and safeguard Ukraine's Jewish community. We pray for safety for all, and for a speedy end to the hostilities.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Dr. Nachman Shai made the official call Friday morning to immediately transfer emergency aid in the amount of NIS 10 million to assist Ukraine’s Jewish community. 

This decision comes from the unique mandate of the State of Israel, and in particular, its Diaspora Affairs Ministry, as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to support Jewish individuals and communities in harm's way. 

In recent weeks, Shai and his team have been in ongoing contact with Jewish community leaders and partners in Israel and on the ground to monitor the evolving situation and evaluate needs. It’s become quite clear at this stage that both immediate and ongoing support are needed. 

Shai said: "We are following developments in the area with great concern. Our hearts are with the Jewish people of Ukraine. We will continue to closely monitor the needs and developments in the field, and respond accordingly."

The Orthodox Union (OU) established the "Ukraine Crisis Fund" to support and assist Jewish communities in the region. A newly-launched website, titled "the Jews of Ukraine desperately needs your help," enables people to donate using a credit card.

"The outbreak of a war that affects the entire country and the region is especially worrisome to the Jewish communities of Ukraine," the donation page reads. "We are in contact with individuals and organizations who have been engaged in heroic efforts to assist and support the hundreds of thousands of individuals affected and the many reborn Torah communities in the region."

The Fellowship (IFCJ)  is Operating an Emergency Program in the amount of about $1 million to Assist the Jewish Community in Ukraine

The Assistance has been transferred to the Main Jewish Organizations in Ukraine which are On the Ground and Taking Care of the Jewish Community.

This, in addition to the Aliyah of 100 Olim earlier this Week in Cooperation with the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration

Inbar & Marius Nacht Family Foundation sent hundreds of thousands of dollars last week to Moldova’s Jewish community that “will immediately be providing emergency assistance to this rescue mission.”

Moldova’s Chief Rabbi Pinchas Salzman thanked the Nacht Family Foundation and its CEO, Nachman Rosenberg, for providing the emergency grant that will help absorb hundreds of other Jews who will be arriving in Moldova in the coming days.

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