I am sure that you are all as anxious as I am about the possible impending war in Ukraine. I wanted you to know that we are in ongoing communication with our overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Both have staff in the region.
About the size of Texas, Ukraine is home to 200,000 Jews, one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. JDC is supporting 37,000 vulnerable Jewish elderly and 2,500 children through care services and Jewish community programs. JAFI staff work with educational initiatives, providing safety measures for Jews including helping Jews make Aliya to Israel. Both organizations are preparing to support the population under multiple scenarios.
Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with these types of crises, and we are grateful for these partnerships that enable us to be there for our fellow Jews. We know that already the Jews in Ukraine are suffering due to the spike in food, medicine and utilities as a result of the escalating crisis. Our national umbrella, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), is in ongoing communication with JDC and JAFI and is currently reviewing requests for funding to meet the needs of our sisters and brothers.
The North American Federation system is a powerful collective, at our best when that power is harnessed and coordinated. I want to assure you that when the call for assistance comes, our Federation will be there to help, as we always are, acting on our conviction that all Jews are responsible for one another. That’s just what we do.