We will be updating this post with news and updates from our partners on the ground in Ukraine as the crisis continues.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023
CJP marks one-year anniversary of Ukraine invasion
We sadly mark this week the one-year anniversary of the invasion in Ukraine, with no end in sight. The tragic loss of life, trauma, and unprecedented exodus that created a massive refugee crisis is ever present.
Over the past year, CJP raised $10 million in emergency relief to support critical response efforts across Ukraine and the city of Dnipro, as well as life-saving help to refugees and displaced people in the region and beyond. Through our international partners at the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), we were able to support basic needs for tens of thousands of people, as well as aliyah to Israel. As part of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), we joined in the collective effort to cater to the most pressing needs while also advocating for a stronger response from our government.
Our hope relies on the resilience of the Ukrainian people and our commitment to collectively help to strengthen and rebuild these communities.
This Friday, Feb. 24, JFNA and JDC are marking a “Shabbat for Ukrainian Jews.” As we celebrate Shabbat collectively, we encourage families to incorporate reflections on the difficulties still faced by our community in Ukraine during their Shabbat celebrations. Families can use this one-pager to guide their reflections.
Friday, Feb. 3, 2023
Dnipro Jewish community launches lifesaving rehab center
- On Feb. 1, 2023, a new branch of the Jewish Medical Center (JMC) focusing on rehabilitation was opened thanks to the support of CJP and the Boston Jewish community
- This state-of-the art facility will provide rehabilitation services for the elderly, adults and children; following trauma interventions and surgeries, the center will provide much-needed recovery, especially for patients with pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, people who suffered lesions of the central and peripheral nervous system, people who have suffered ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, recovery in various pathologies of the cardiovascular system, and those who suffered injuries due to the war
- A multi-disciplinary team of rehabilitation doctors and other specialists are working together to provide the best-in-class treatment to the entire population
- Another critical area is work with patients who are preparing for prosthetics after loss of limbs, as well as patients who have already undergone procedures to implant prosthetics
- A group of specialists will work on therapy with patients in the areas of mental health, speech, and hearing
- There is also an OB/GYN office with experienced professionals conducting preventive care, reproductive consultations, and support and treatment for expecting mothers
- As part of the clinic, a team of pediatricians and specialists are providing care for children, including immunizations
- A diagnostic room also opened with modern ultrasound equipment used to detect a range of conditions
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023
Winter survival in Ukraine
Though the war may have disappeared from the front page of the news, the conflict is far from over. Despite the difficult circumstances that continue to afflict Jews in Ukraine, glimmers of hope can be seen.
- After nearly a year of crisis coupled with a relentlessly bleak winter, some of the JDC’s most vulnerable clients have found themselves alone and isolated. Camp Szarvas, normally a summer oasis for children, has opened its doors to provide a winter refuge to families filled with community, culture and connection.
- The Dnipro Jewish Community opened three hubs on the premises of the Jewish day school, the Boys Home and the Beit Baruch assisted living facility for the members of the community.
- These hubs, located in different parts of the city, are a resource for everyone in need—community members and refugees alike—to access for a few hours to warm up, charge their phones and electronics, have a coffee, tea and snacks, and socialize with others feeling the embrace of the community.
- These locations are able to provide these services thanks to power generators generously supplied by CJP and the Boston community, in collaboration with the JDC, who provided the food, hot drinks and phone chargers. These much needed resources are critical in light of regular power cuts and cold winter temperatures.
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023
Missile strikes apartment building six miles from Menorah Center
This past month has been particularly hard for our friends in Dnipro. In addition to continuous power cuts and loss of heat, the city was the scene of one of the most disturbing attacks since the start of the conflict. A missile struck an apartment building with 46 fatalities, including children, and scores of people injured and in need of rescue from the rubble.
This is about six miles from the Menorah Center and where most of the Jewish community is concentrated. Our friends and partners are reportedly fine, but obviously very shaken up and living under daily terror. We continue to be in close communication and work to fill the most pressing needs.
Zelig Brez, executive director of the Jewish Community in Dnipro, Ukraine, wrote the morning after the fatal missile: “Your support encourages us and enables to stand in the face of this terror, this cruel war. We already started to help, with supplies and psychological support. We cannot stay away in the time of such tragedy. Again and again we thank all of you, CJP, and the whole community for your love and care.”
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022
Parts of Ukraine without electricity and heat as winter begins
- Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been the target of repeated attacks over the past month, leaving many communities without electricity and heat for extended periods of time, including Dnipro, CJP’s sister city.
- In response to the urgent need for power and heat, CJP, through the generosity of the Boston community, was able to support the purchase of power banks, lamps and various industrial generators for all the major community centers, schools and clinics.
- The Jewish community continues to serve thousands of people with basic needs (food, shelter, medical care, housing), including a large number of refugees, mainly from Mariupol and Kharkiv. They are particularly proud to also support the public hospital, which is providing a lot of children with mental health and trauma services.
- The Jewish schools and kindergartens continue to serve about 200 students in person and 300 students online. This is a huge burden on the teachers who not only need to run both class types, but also need to prepare differently for each.
- The Dnipro Jewish school is one of the few schools still active in the country—some Jewish families have even moved from Kiev and other cities so their children can attend.
- The JDC is focused on providing increased support across all of Ukraine for winter needs. This includes portable heaters and cooking stoves; sleeping bags that can withstand subzero temperatures; rechargeable flashlights; nonperishable foods; warm blankets and fleece-lined clothing; wood and coal; and subsidies for higher utility bills. The JDC has also made contingency plans to retrofit its local social service and Jewish community centers to act as warming centers and to provide hot meals.
Friday, Sept. 30, 2022
High alert in Dnipro, CJP’s partner city, after repeated missile attacks
- On Sept. 29, a series of explosions were heard over Dnipro, Ukraine. Missiles hit a bus station, a market, a residential neighborhood, cars and power lines. This is a more sustained attack than in the past and people are frightened.
- Sources state that 60 homes were destroyed, close to 25 people were injured and five were killed, including two children.
- CJP’s partners on the ground report there were no direct injuries in the Jewish community. We join them in mourning the innocent lives lost.
- Dnipro remains on high alert as repeated attacks continue in the region.
- Our support for our friends in Dnipro—and all those seeking peace across Ukraine—remains resolute. We are in close contact with JDC, JAFI and JFNA to determine how those here in Boston can continue to provide assistance.
Friday, Sept. 9, 2022
Schooling and construction resume
- Thanks to Boston’s support, the Dnipro community was able to resume full-scale construction of critical medical infrastructure, including:
- A surgical unit with intensive care facilities at the community center (to be completed by the end of the year)
- A rehabilitation department at Beit Baruch senior home that includes two floors with rooms equipped with private bathrooms and showers, as well as a modern patient lifting system (scheduled opening by the end of the year)
- A family medicine department near the Menorah Center with seven visiting rooms and a multifunctional treatment room (scheduled opening for December)
- Thanks to Boston’s support, the Dnipro community was able to resume full-scale construction of critical medical infrastructure, including:
- The Jewish community was able to reopen a kosher food pantry at the Menorah Center that had been closed due to the war. They are currently focused on widening the assortment of food and making it affordable for the local people and refugees that come to Dnipro.
- In the last two weeks, 3,000 families were provided with food, as the Jewish community continues to prepare and distribute food packages and medicine.
- The Dnipro community is working hard to provide full Jewish and secular education. One hundred-fifty kids are back in school, with more teachers and families returning.
- During the summer, thanks to CJP, many Dnipro families got the chance for some fun and relaxation, and sleep without missile sirens at a Jewish Big Brother Big Sister summer camp in Hungary.
Friday, Aug. 5, 2022
JDC provides vital services to Ukraine’s Jews in their time of great need
Since the beginning of the conflict, the JDC, thanks to CJP’s support, was able to:
- Evacuate over 12,906 Jews from Ukraine (there are still 35,000 poor and elderly Jews who won’t or can’t leave)
- Provided over 39,257 refugees with food, medicine, and trauma support
- Delivered over 617 tons of humanitarian assistance
Friday, July 29, 2022
Dnipro community continues to deliver targeted humanitarian aid
- The Dnipro community continues to deliver targeted humanitarian aid to all Jewish families who are homebound or living remotely so that no one is left without help; 87 families were helped this week. Food and supplies are also being delivered to support hospitals in the city, including flour, pasta, water, toothpaste, and laundry detergent.
- As part of the ongoing, large-scale efforts of the Jewish community of Dnipro, our partners are providing assistance to 3,000 families in need, including refugees from hard-hit regions across Ukraine.
- At the Menorah Jewish Center, volunteers and staff are making care kits that include pasta, butter, rice porridge, wheat, oatmeal, milk, sprats, yogurt, flour, sugar, salt, tomato paste, tea, instant noodles, canned peas, canned corn, canned beans, cocoa, waffles, croissants, fruit puree, and coffee, as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste, washing gel, sanitary pads, diapers, soap, and shampoo.
Friday, July 15, 2022
Aid and evacuations continue as Ukraine summer camps find new home at Hungary resort
- At least 12 million people have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the United Nations. More than 5 million have left for neighboring countries, while 7 million are still thought to be displaced inside Ukraine itself.
- The Dnipropetrovsk region, where Dnipro is located, has become a hub of humanitarian and military aid due to its proximity to the Donbas region. The region has sheltered more than 300,000 internally displaced people, with the Jewish community welcoming thousands of them.
- The Menorah Jewish Center in Dnipro delivered thousands of food packages for residents and displaced people at the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Psychiatric Hospital and Dnepropetrovsk Children’s Clinical Hospital No. 3. The packages included oil, flour, and drinking water.
- A resort in Hungary is being restored to welcome hundreds of displaced people and host a number of Jewish Ukrainian summer camps that are unable to open in their usual locations. This refugee camp will include Camp Yeka, a summer camp near Dnipro that serves Jewish children from across Ukraine—a heavy concentration of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- The JDC has provided over 38,700 refugees with vital necessities like food, medicine, and psychosocial aid, and has delivered nearly 565 tons of humanitarian aid. The organization has evacuated over 12,770 refugees since the war began.
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Dnipro Jewish community continues to play critical role in providing food security, medical care
- Russian forces are now in control of most of Severodonetsk, the epicenter of the bloody battle for Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, but Ukrainian lines to the city do not yet appear to be totally cut. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia would “go further” than his country’s eastern Donbas region if given the chance, as he appealed for more weaponry from Western nations.
- The Menorah Jewish Center in Dnipro continues to play a critical role in providing food security during the war. In the past month alone, it has distributed 15,200 food packages to internally displaced people within the entire region. More recently, the Jewish community delivered 500 food packages to civilians in the Donetsk region, the front line of the war. The community also delivered large amounts of food to the regional and city children’s hospitals.
- Dnipro’s Jewish Medical Clinic is providing 50-80 different medical procedures each day to internally displaced people for free.
- The JDC estimates that 50,000 Jews have fled Ukraine, including 12,600-plus people evacuated by the JDC alone. It has delivered 470-plus tons of humanitarian aid to Jews in Ukraine and those who have fled to Moldova. It has also fielded over 56,900 calls by emergency hotlines and Hesed centers.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel reports that there are currently 34,869 new aliyah inquiries from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus combined—this is in addition to more than 18,000 people who have already made aliyah, 417 of whom enlisted in the IDF as lone soldiers.
- The Haifa Municipal Authority for Immigrant Absorption reports that over 3,000 Ukrainian immigrants and 1,500 refugees have arrived in Haifa since the beginning of the war. One hundred new immigrants and refugees are arriving in Haifa each day.
Friday, May 20, 2022
Boston’s JF&CS provides support to new mothers in Dnipro
- The Menorah Jewish Center in Dnipro continues to be the headquarters for providing aid, including coordinating international support, to Ukraine’s Jewish population. Up to 150 volunteers work a 24/7 emergency hotline to respond to requests to help find relatives and identify those who still need help. The Dnipro Jewish community has evacuated 6,000 Jews so far, 20% of whom have immigrated to Israel.
- Since the invasion on Feb. 24, the JDC has evacuated more than 12,600 Jews from Ukraine, including 83 through medical evacuation. More than 36,000 refugees have been provided vital necessities like food, medicine, and psychosocial aid.
- Last week, three ill Holocaust survivors were rescued from Ukraine and brought to Israel through an operation led by the Jewish Agency for Israel, the JDC, and United Hatzalah. This operation was part of a larger mission to rescue almost 300 Holocaust survivors from Ukraine.
- Project Kesher, an international Jewish women’s organization, has evacuated 8,767 women and children. Along with providing food for 33,395 displaced people, the organization also provided direct financial support to 289 Ukrainian families in the first 10 weeks of the war.
- Project Kesher, in partnership with Boston’s Jewish Family & Children’s Service, is providing 12 new moms from the Visiting Moms program in Dnipro with financial and mental health support.
Friday, May 13, 2022
“My daughter and I have food to eat after sitting in the basement for 14 days.”
In the video above, displaced people from the south and east share their stories and how the Dnipro Jewish community is helping them.
Friday, May 6, 2022
Dnipro Jewish community provides beds for nearly 18,000 displaced people
- The Dnipro Jewish community has fielded 10,842 calls from its 24/7 emergency hotline and has provided 17,844 beds for displaced people. In the month of April alone, the Jewish community prepared 58,900 hot meals and delivered 8,400 food packages, including supplies sent to 11 communities outside Dnipro.
- Last month, the Jewish Medical Clinic provided free medical care to 554 internally displaced people and is now working on expanding its facilities to meet the demand of clinical, surgical, and rehabilitation care.
- The JDC has fielded more than 52,000 calls from its emergency hotlines and Hesed centers, which provide community care for elderly Jews. Since the start of the war, more than 35,000 refugees have been provided with vital necessities like food, medicine, and psychosocial aid.
- World ORT has provided more than half a million dollars in financial aid, with more to come to provide for the delivery of essential items, including medicine, food, water, and ambulance services. Around 40% of ORT school families have left their homes, either moving abroad or to Western Ukraine. Of those now abroad, around 30% of ORT students are attending online lessons while others are enrolling in ORT schools across Europe, including in Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, and the Baltic states.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Jewish Medical Clinic treats cardiovascular conditions caused by stress and trauma from war
- During Passover, the Dnipro Jewish community distributed matzo and food packages to 8,800 people. Throughout the week-long holiday, the Jewish community served hot meals to local residents and to over 2,000 displaced people being sheltered.
- The Jewish Medical Clinic (JMC) continues to provide free medical care to hundreds of displaced people—many have developed hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions caused by stress and trauma from the war. Many of the doctors and nurses who evacuated Kharkiv and its surroundings have been employed at the JMC and are assisting the growing medical needs of the community.
- The JDC has evacuated more than 12,500 refugees from Ukraine and has delivered more than 300 tons of humanitarian aid to those who have fled to Moldova.
Monday, April 18, 2022
Dnipro Jewish community delivers more than 50,000 packages of matzo for Passover
- The Dnipro Jewish community delivered more than 50,000 packages of matzo to Jewish families across Ukraine for Passover. The matzo is locally sourced from the community’s matzo bakery, which continues to function even as the city has been a target for Russian rockets. Last Friday alone, 800 people picked up Passover seder kits at the local synagogue.
- The Golden Rose synagogue in Dnipro and six other refugee centers across the city hosted public seder meals for over 2,000 displaced people sheltered by the Jewish community. Throughout the Passover holiday, kosher-for-Passover food will be available to all in the synagogue and other locations.
- The Jewish Medical Clinic (JMC) continues to provide free medical care to hundreds of displaced people—many have developed hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions caused by stress and trauma from the war. The JMC also sent a batch of essential medicine to the Municipal Clinical Hospital No. 16 in Dnipro, which is actively admitting the wounded from the front lines.
- The JDC has evacuated more than 11,900 Jews fleeing towns and cities under fire, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Chernikiv, organizing caravans to make the days-long journey to Moldova and bring them to safety. This Passover, JDC provided meals for more than 2,300 refugees and Jewish community members in neighboring countries.
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Jewish Agency for Israel and JDC help Ukrainian refugees celebrate Passover
- The Jewish Agency for Israel will hold a special Passover seder for hundreds of Ukrainian refugees staying at the organization’s aliyah processing centers in the region and is preparing for their departure to Israel. The Jewish Agency worked with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library and Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration to publish and translate the Haggadah into Russian.
- The JDC delivered 16 tons of matzah to those in Ukraine for Passover and has provided 700 pounds of kosher-for-Passover food to Ukrainian refugees. The JDC is also organizing nine communal seders and 15 online seders for refugees in Ukraine.
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Over 11,500 Jews have immigrated to Israel
- The Dnipro Jewish community has so far assisted 10,000 internally displaced people with evacuations and is currently providing shelter to another 2,200 people. The city of Dnipro is overcrowded with refugees fleeing the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
- The Jewish Medical Clinic brought additional doctors and nurses from Kharkiv to Dnipro to assist the growing medical needs of the community.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel has handled 9,772 new aliyah inquiries and has provided $559,000 in security assistance to Jewish institutions in Ukraine. So far, 11,500-plus Jews from Ukraine and Russia have come to Israel as immigrants, including those eligible to make aliyah.
- The JDC has served 31,000 Jews in Ukraine with home visits, medical and food assistance, and more.
- Before the war, Hillel International worked with 4,000 Jewish students and 40 staff in Ukraine. With their assistance, many of the students and staff have now fled.
Thursday, April 7, 2022
Dnipro develops water purification system to ensure uninterrupted drinking water during the war
- The Jewish community of Dnipro is distributing food packages to 700 families daily. Community volunteers prepare the packages, which include cereal, pasta, eggs, flour, yeast, tea, fresh fruits and vegetables, sunflower oil, and other products. An additional 5,000 families are receiving 15 pounds of apples each.
- The Menorah Center in Dnipro has developed a multi-level water purification system with the capacity to provide 265 gallons of water per hour. This project will ensure that the community has access to uninterrupted drinking water during the war.
- The Jewish Medical Clinic (JMC) continues to provide free examinations, consultations, and treatment for internally displaced people accommodated in refugee centers set up by the Jewish community of Dnipro. In addition to routine measurements of blood pressure, temperature, and various lab tests, JMC has recently provided treatment for diabetes, bronchial asthma, traumas of the knee and tailbone, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and dementia.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Israel sends lifesaving medical equipment and supplies to Ukraine
- The Jewish Medical Clinic (JMC) received specialized medical equipment, including lifesaving medicine, from Shamir Medical Center, the fourth-largest government hospital in Israel. The JMC continues to provide free medical care to refugees arriving in Dnipro.
- The JDC has evacuated more than 11,600 Jews from Ukraine and has delivered more than 165 tons of humanitarian aid to communities across Ukraine.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel has paid for 65 airplanes that flew Ukrainian Jews to Israel and 400 buses that brought Jews from Ukraine across the border. More than 5,500 Jewish Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Israel so far.
- United Hatzalah has begun delivering much-needed medical supplies and food to various hospitals and medical centers inside Ukraine itself. They sent cargo planes to Slovakia, brought the supplies into Western Ukraine, and then set up a warehouse inside the country.
Friday, April 1, 2022
JFNA sending Russian-speaking volunteers to assist Jewish refugees at Ukraine border
- The Dnipro Jewish community delivered thousands of food packages to the doorsteps of many elderly people who live in isolation outside Dnipro. The assistance was delivered to the villages of Chapli, Peschanka, Nikolayevka, Volnoe, Balovka, Yurievka, Aleksandrovka, Magdalinovka, Igren, Gubinikha, Lychkovo, and Obukhivka.
- The JDC was able to transfer humanitarian provisions from the Dnipro Hesed Welfare Center to Kharkiv, where fighting is heavier and supplies are needed. In the Odesa region, the JDC is managing to provide most services, and all essential services are available. The city of Mykolaiv faces regular Russian bombing but has been able to purchase essential provisions from Odesa and transport them by bus. When possible, the buses return with evacuees from Mykolaiv, who then continue on to Moldova.
- JFNA is preparing, in collaboration with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the JDC, to send Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking volunteers to the war-torn region to provide humanitarian support and assist Jewish refugees who wish to make aliyah.
Our 1st group of Russian-speaking skilled volunteers to the Ukraine border & to partner with JAFI, JDC and a host of other Jewish service agencies in this first-of-its-kind volunteer hub to aid Ukrainian refugees. Just one more example of #FederationImpact https://t.co/FDkSNn3QFA
— The Jewish Federations of North America (@jfederations) April 1, 2022
- World ORT staff remain in close contact with their closed schools across Ukraine. At least 350 ORT families have fled to neighboring countries, with the majority now in Poland and Germany. Others have reached countries including Israel, the United States, Britain, France, and Turkey, with almost 30 nations in total accepting Ukrainian ORT students as refugees. ORT is also providing direct financial help to 400 of its families.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Hundreds of families receive daily food packages
- In a few days alone, the Dnipro Jewish community distributed 1,500 packages of essential food items, including to refugees from the front lines of the war. More than 500 families are now receiving food packages every day. Dnipro has become a center of humanitarian aid and a refuge for people fleeing the war.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) reports that 7,000 Ukrainian Jews have come to Israel as immigrants, with another 1,000 arriving this week. As JAFI operations continue at 18 facilities in five different border crossings with Ukraine, the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel is expected to surpass 10,000 in the next two weeks and approach 15,000 shortly after.
- The JDC fielded over 12,600 incoming emergency hotline calls, resolved thousands of requests, and made over 12,100 outgoing calls. The organization established many of these hotlines during the pandemic and is now leveraging the existing network to deliver aid and human connection to Jews in Ukraine.
Monday, March 28, 2022
“This is just a miracle”
- The Dnipro Jewish community has organized seven refugee centers throughout Dnipro to welcome internally displaced people and provide them with food and shelter. Refugees are also receiving free medical care from doctors at the Jewish Medical Clinic, where they are currently treating five cases of severe hypertension and four cases of chronic coronary artery disease. A refugee from Kharkiv shared this with us:
We were brought to the Golden Rose Synagogue in Dnipro, where they immediately fed us and didn’t even ask for anything in exchange. Everyone is fed and saved here, not only Jews. This is just a miracle.”
- The Jewish Agency for Israel has created temporary shelters for those fleeing Ukraine in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova. These facilities have so far housed over 8,000 refugees, and there are currently 4,500 refugees at agency facilities who will soon make their way to Israel. In addition, the organization is now planning to increase its capacity by opening additional facilities in Romania, as well as renting a stadium in Bulgaria.
- The JDC has provided more than 18,700 refugees with vital necessities like food, medicine, and psychosocial aid as they crossed from Ukraine into Romania, Moldova, Poland, and Hungary. The JDC has also delivered more than 165 tons of humanitarian aid, including food, medicine, soap, and other crucial supplies to Jews sheltering in Ukraine and to those who have fled to Moldova.
- United Hatzalah has sent special teams inside Ukraine from Moldova and Slovakia to distribute medical supplies to hospitals near the western border and to rescue and recover injured and ill people who wish to flee the country but are unable to do so due to medical conditions.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
More than 24,000 hot meals distributed in Dnipro, with three tons of food delivered to other communities
- The Dnipro Jewish community has prepared and distributed 24,400 nutritious hot meals. Four hundred people are being fed daily at the Menorah Center, and 2,350 dry food rations and drinking water have been given to evacuees. Three tons of food have been delivered to other communities under bombardment or experiencing food shortages.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel launched its “Aliyah Express” program to expedite the immigration process for Ukrainian immigrants. Since the war began, 4,000 Jewish refugees have immigrated to Israel; the Jewish Agency expects that number to increase significantly.
- The JDC reports that it has evacuated 10,000 Jewish refugees from Ukraine. On average, 2,000 beds are occupied in JDC-supported facilities, where refugees receive three meals a day. The JDC has also sent 10 social workers to Poland, Moldova, and Romania to map and assess the needs of refugees and their social support networks.
- The U.S. government announced plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees through a full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. There are currently 17,000 religious minority applications being processed; it’s expected that these refugees will be admitted to the U.S. in the coming months, along with those on family visas. Jewish federations, in partnership with the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, will be sharing resources about community resettlement efforts as the situation develops.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Education and at-home medical care continue despite near-impossible conditions
- The Dnipro Jewish community organized a successful humanitarian operation to extricate 39 people with disabilities, including elderly people who have difficulty moving. These vulnerable individuals were evacuated from the front lines and transported to Dnipro, where they received shelter and medical care from the Jewish Medical Clinic and Beit Baruch. (Beit Baruch, the only Jewish senior home in the former Soviet Union, was modeled after Boston’s 2Life Communities.) These individuals were later taken via train to the western border of Ukraine.
- The Jewish Medical Clinic put together a special team of doctors to visit the Menorah Center to examine refugees on a regular basis. The refugees are provided with first aid, various medical examinations, and consultations. Those in need are given the appropriate treatment free of charge.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel reported that 1,950 immigrants from Ukraine have arrived in Israel and 7,120 people are currently accommodated in the Jewish Agency’s transit facilities in five countries (including in Ukraine itself). In addition to expediting aliyah efforts, the Jewish Agency is providing emergency grants to 66 communities and organizations in Ukraine to help improve and upgrade the protection and security of their facilities.
- The JDC is directly serving 32,000 Jews in Ukraine and has evacuated 4,000 Jewish refugees. Seventy percent of the approximately 9,000 elderly Jews that were receiving home care prior to the war are still receiving services, despite near-impossible conditions.
- World ORT schools in Ukraine are physically closed, but students from the Odesa, Chernivtsi, and Belaya Tzerkov locations continue to learn remotely. Online counseling sessions with psychologists are available for children and adults. Across Ukraine, ORT school principals are assessing how many students have left their cities and the country, and how many have remained. Some ORT students from Ukraine have moved to the Baltic states and enrolled in ORT schools there, with more expected in the coming days and weeks. ORT students who have arrived in Bulgaria and Romania are now connected with Jewish schools there.
Friday, March 18, 2022
Jewish federations urge U.S. government to expedite admissions for refugees
- CJP and 260 other Jewish federations and faith partners signed a letter today urging the U.S. government to expedite admissions for Ukrainian refugees with close family ties in the country. The letter asks the Biden administration to begin admitting pending Lautenberg and visa applicants so they can wait in the U.S. in safety.
- The Beit Baruch Assisted Living Center for the Jewish Elderly in Dnipro hosted a Purim celebration and delivered food packages to more than 40 of its elderly residents.
- The Education Resource Center in Dnipro, which brings attention and resources to special needs education in Ukraine, continues to conduct daily in-person and virtual classes and is providing financial assistance to many families with children with disabilities.
- A JFNA delegation visited Poland this week, where they went to Jewish refugee centers across the country, as well as the Medyka border between Ukraine and Poland. The group spent time with potential immigrants at the Jewish Agency housing facility and visited a refugee center in Lublin, Poland.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel has mobilized over 85 local municipalities in Israel, kibbutzim, pre-army academy staff participants, youth villages, and youth movements to collect 23,000 carefully packed boxes of supplies for refugees.
- The JDC is providing over 2,000 beds in locations across Moldova, Poland, Hungary, and Romania as temporary accommodations for refugees who have fled Ukraine. These JDC centers act as transition points for refugees to stay until they can arrange entry to other European countries or as they wait for their aliyah papers and evacuation flights to Israel.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Dnipro Jewish community celebrates Purim
In the midst of war and trauma, the Golden Rose Synagogue in Dnipro celebrated a moment of joy with a Megillah reading on Wednesday, which was broadcast live on YouTube. Nearly 300 people joined online, with many from Boston.
The strength of Dnipro's Jewish community is inspiring!
Our dear friend and partner Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki, the Chief Rabbi of Dnipro, shares a powerful Purim message. Stay up to date at: https://t.co/w89eJyaIoZ pic.twitter.com/Y5IB4uX6MI
— CJP – Combined Jewish Philanthropies (@CJPBoston) March 16, 2022
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Dnipro Jewish community provides humanitarian assistance to Jewish community of Kharkiv
- The Dnipro Jewish community is providing relief not only to Dnipro, but to other areas in Ukraine. The community is providing humanitarian assistance to the Jewish community of Kharkiv, a city that continues to be bombarded by Russian forces. Yesterday, buses full of food left Dnipro to assist the residents of Kharkiv at the request of Rabbi Moishe Moskovich, chief rabbi of Kharkiv. The community also plans to help evacuate people who are sheltered at the Kharkiv Choral Synagogue.
- The Jewish Medical Clinic in Dnipro continues to assist refugees in need of urgent medical intervention. They are providing life-saving drugs like insulin, anticonvulsants and antiseptics, as well as ultrasound diagnostics and COVID-19 tests.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel’s aliyah (immigration) processing centers in Romania, Poland, Moldova, and Hungary have taken in 6,000 Ukrainian Jews since the beginning of the war.
- The JDC has organized a plane that was sent from Israel to Moldova containing five tons of blankets, shampoo, and hygiene products, as well as nine tons of food and medication that will be sent to Odesa. JDC is also looking into renting warehouses in Ukraine for storing humanitarian aid that has begun arriving by trucks.
Monday, March 14, 2022
Refugees continue to arrive in Dnipro, other parts of Europe, and Israel
- 1,000 refugees have arrived so far to the Golden Rose Synagogue in Dnipro, where the Jewish community is providing food, shelter, and medical assistance through the Jewish Medical Clinic. Refugees continue to be evacuated to the western borders of Ukraine. The elderly who need nursing care are being moved to Beit Baruch Assisted Living Center for the Jewish Elderly.
- The JDC has so far helped 7,000 Jewish refugees with transport and accommodations in western Ukraine, Moldova, and across Europe. The JDC is also receiving 1,000 emergency hotline calls per day.
- 3,250 Jews are currently at aliyah (immigration to Israel) processing centers in Europe as the Jewish Agency for Israel prepares additional flights to Israel; 850 olim (immigrants) are scheduled to arrive in Israel this week.
Friday, March 11, 2022
Aid and evacuations continue
- On Friday morning, an airstrike destroyed a shoe factory in Dnipro. A kindergarten had its windows blown in and was approximately 980 feet from the site of impact. Many apartments nearby were also damaged.
- The Dnipro Jewish community received an additional 190,000 pounds of food, 20,000 5-liter water bottles, and 5,000 packages of fish. A food distribution center has been set up at the Menorah Center. Close to 600,000 pounds of food have been delivered to the community.
- The Dnipro Jewish community is evacuating 200-500 people a day (mainly women, children, and the elderly) via charter buses from Dnipro to Lviv and on to the western borders of Ukraine.
- The Jewish Federations of North America led a successful effort in Washington to ensure that the U.S. Senate passed its omnibus bill, with $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel has processed around 16,000 inquiries from Jews in Ukraine and their relatives in Israel. Of these, 6,600 were interested in making aliyah. At the same time, about 19,500 calls have been received from Russia. The agency’s hotline operates day and night through reinforced staff, along with some 40 volunteers. The agency has now deployed 32 people (emissaries and local employees) in five countries to process aliyah arrangements for refugees seeking to arrive in Israel immediately. Agency facilities in six countries currently house about 1,800 aliyah applicants, some within Ukraine itself, in the vicinity of Lviv, and others in neighboring countries. Last Wednesday, two aliyah flights landed at Ben Gurion Airport, one from Poland with 150 immigrants on board, and the other from Romania with 100 immigrants.
- The JDC has so far helped evacuate over 2,800 Jewish community members in Ukraine, while at the same time caring for some of the community’s most vulnerable individuals unable or unwilling to evacuate. The organization’s hotlines are receiving more and more calls each day. Some 70% of requests are for food, medicine, and evacuation, while other needs include equipment loans, warming products, psychological support, requests for information, and more. In just one week since they were set up, JDC’s centers in Moldova have already taken in around 2,500 refugees. JDC has also initiated and convened a communications roundtable for the 22 Jewish and Israeli organizations currently operating on the ground in Moldova. Coordination efforts have already enabled faster and more coordinated responses to different issues faced by the refugees in the area.
- One United Hatzalah volunteer on the ground wrote this emotional account of her experiences.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Synagogue, day school converted into refugee shelters
- The Jewish community of Dnipro has turned its synagogue and Jewish day school into shelters as refugees continue to arrive from various besieged cities in Ukraine. There are more than 360 refugees currently being assisted by the community. The community has also set up emergency hotlines to assist people with evacuations; there are approximately 200-500 people being evacuated from Dnipro daily via buses and trains.
- In Poland, the world’s largest pre-Holocaust yeshiva has become a camp for Jewish refugees. The Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, operated in the Polish city of Lublin from 1930-1939, has been turned by the JDC into a facility that provides about 190 beds for Jewish refugees from Ukraine.
- The Jewish Agency for Israel reports that 900 olim (new immigrants) have arrived in Israel since fighting began, and thousands more are reported to be in transit, or trying to get out of Ukraine. The Israeli government expects that up to 15,000 olim could arrive in the coming weeks.
- The Jewish Federations of North America has successfully advocated for Ukrainians in the U.S. to remain and is now working to have Congress approve supplemental funding for the Ukraine crisis in the Fiscal Year 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Dnipro now housing 360 refugees
The Jewish community in Dnipro is now housing 360 refugees and continues to unload food and medicine for the community.
Monday, March 7, 2022
Ukrainian Jews land in Israel, more humanitarian relief delivered to Dnipro
The Jewish Agency for Israel has received some 5,000 requests from Ukrainians to immigrate to Israel in recent days and believes that up to 10,000 immigrants could arrive in Israel in the near future, in what would only be the first wave of refugees headed to the Jewish state. So far, 700 Ukrainian Jews have arrived at aliyah (immigration to Israel) processing centers—run by The Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews—that are located in countries bordering Ukraine. The future olim (immigrants) are escorted from the border to temporary housing facilities, where they receive their visas to Israel.
The first three flights, carrying 200 immigrants and 100 orphans, arrived in Israel on Sunday, March 6. These new immigrants will be transferred to their permanent residences located in communities throughout Israel, including Haifa, CJP’s sister city.
In our sister community of Dnipro, Ukraine, the Jewish community unloaded more than 400,000 pounds of food (potatoes, cabbages, apples, carrots, onions, fish, eggs) to feed more than 10,000 people. Due to the shortage of certain goods, the community is now processing grain into flour and sunflower seeds into oil.
The Jewish Medical Clinic (JMC) in Dnipro has started to provide free medical care to internally displaced people, from urgent care to mental health care and even surgeries. The JMC also received hundreds of packages with medicine and prescription drugs for the community. Many children from combat areas arrived over the weekend with high fevers and were treated by JMC doctors upon arrival. A refugee from Kharkiv said:
In Dnipro, we are treated like kings thanks to the community, and have our first night of sleep without any bombings.”
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has helped shelter approximately 1,500 Jewish refugees and given other support to some 3,000-4,000 Jews, plus thousands more non-Jewish refugees. The assistance includes transit advice, food, and more. The JDC has also evacuated more than 3,000 Jews together with Chabad, local Jewish communities in Ukraine, the Jewish Agency, and the Jewish communities of Romania, Poland, Moldova, and Hungary.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Food, medical supplies arrive in Dnipro
Food distribution efforts are underway in Dnipro, Boston’s sister city. The leadership of the Jewish community is expected to feed more than 10,000 people as the war continues. Medical supplies have arrived at the Jewish Medical Clinic.
Friday, March 4, 2022
Ukraine: Our Community Responds as War Rages on
“As the war in Ukraine rages on, we watch the humanitarian disaster with fear and disbelief: What seemed like a world order has so quickly shattered.
“We are human beings and citizens of the world, and our hearts break for all Ukrainians. As Jews, we feel responsible for the suffering and well-being of our global Jewish family, wherever they are. As Jewish Bostonians with deep relationships in our sister city of Dnipro, this conflict feels personal.”
Read more from Rabbi Marc Baker
Hot meals provided for more than 10,000 people in Dnipro, Ukraine
- Several trucks with food have arrived in Dnipro, Ukraine, where Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki is providing food packages and hot meals for over 10,000 people in the community. The convention area in the Menorah Center has been turned into a warehouse to store food.
- In the past 48 hours, the community helped hundreds of Jews, mainly women and children, evacuate from Dnipro. The elderly who are homebound and cannot leave are receiving the care they need.
- Additional beds have been set up at Beit Baruch, Dnipro’s Jewish senior home, to shelter those in need of nursing care.
- The JDC has set up emergency hotlines to help Ukrainian Jews with emergency needs, including food and medicine, physical assistance and rescue, as well as personal connection and emotional support. They also launched hotlines in Moldova and Israel staffed by Russian-speaking volunteers to field calls from Ukraine, deliver remote care, and maintain human connection with those they serve.
- 700 Jews have so far arrived at aliyah (immigration to Israel) processing centers run by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews that are located in countries bordering Ukraine. The first three flights carrying a total of 200 olim (immigrants), along with an additional 100 orphans, will arrive in Israel on Sunday, March 6.