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Thank you to the Winnipeg Community for your outpouring of support for the Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund. We are proud to be working with the local Jewish, Ukranian and general communities to help meet the needs of the evolving humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.  

 
Jewish Federations have been in Ukraine for decades, both caring for the most vulnerable of our extended Jewish family and rebuilding a vibrant Jewish community. It is the power of our annual campaign that enables this work to take place year after year in cities and towns all across the Former Soviet Union. But, today, as a result of Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine, home to an estimated 200,000 Jews, the needs are extraordinary. 

Because our Federation partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and World ORT were already on the ground doing critical work day in and day out for Ukraine’s Jewish community – we were able to quickly mobilize.

  • Our partners at the Jewish Agency set up hotlines overnight to help guide local community members through these chaotic times.  
     
  • Six processing stations on the Ukrainian border with Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary, are already up and running to support the Ukrainian Jews who wish to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel. They have successfully moved the first group of olim (immigrants) to Poland in order to ensure a safe aliyah to Israel and are expecting to help thousands more in the coming days. Staff on the ground are working around the clock under difficult and dangerous conditions to meet the ever-changing needs.
     
  • JDC is reporting “spiking humanitarian needs” among the nearly 40,000 low-income Jews it supports in 1,000 locations around Ukraine. JDC is delivering critical assistance - getting food and medicine to those in need, activating a local volunteer corps, and leveraging its network of Hesed social service centers to address emerging needs as events unfold. JDC is also preparing to handle mass displacement, deploy psychosocial support, and increased aid to the most vulnerable.
     
  • World ORT is involved in the lives of more than 8,000 people including students, teachers, staff, and their families in Ukraine. Due to the crisis ORT schools are currently closed, but ORT continues to support students, teachers, and families, by providing emergency items including food, water, walkie-talkies, first aid kits, essential medicines, and more.
Right now, our partners on the ground are quite literally risking their lives. 
Working on the ground to support Ukranian Jewry
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We urgently need to raise $20 million to support and save the lives of our extended Jewish family in Ukraine. These funds will:
  • Maintain critical welfare services for tens of thousands of vulnerable Jews across Ukraine
     
  • Deliver food, medicine, warm clothing, and other material support to those sheltering in place and those who have fled the conflict zone
     
  • Ensure that those who wish to make Aliyah to Israel are able to do so in safety and with all due speed
     
  • Provide temporary housing for thousands of people in transit and others displaced by the violence
     
  • Bolster security and support for the local community and its institutions
     
  • Secure five Jewish schools and training staff to manage crisis needs
     
  • And more as the need continues to grow.

Our Federation communities across North America, are exercising the power of our collective giving – the power and the need for kehillah (community) – one of our most fundamental precepts that as Jewish community all of us are responsible for one another.

Our community in Ukraine is counting on us. We will continue to update you in the coming days. 

In the meantime, we pray for peace and safety for all.

Gustavo Zentner
President
Elaine Goldstine
Chief Executive Officer
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