Jewish charities help Ukrainians from all walks of life in Russia’s battle

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Ukrainians from all walks of life are in search of shelter from the violence, and plenty of Jewish charities have stepped as much as assist.

The endeavor comes amid the uproar over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s acknowledged purpose to “de-Nazify” the Ukraine’s authorities — a suggestion observers have scoffed at, particularly since its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is Jewish.

“We are people of faith, and it is of critical importance that we turn to God in prayer at this moment of upheaval for the world order,” stated Rabbi Moshe Hauer, government vice chairman of the Orthodox Union (OU), one of many largest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the US. “We pray for peace, and specifically that God endow the leaders of the free world the courage and wisdom to act decisively to prevent further destruction.” 

The OU has raised over $1 million thus far, and its affiliated synagogues have raised thousands and thousands extra to assist Ukrainians of their hour of want. The help, Hauer defined, goes to Jewish and non-Jewish individuals alike.

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“We have focused our support on efforts to evacuate people from Ukraine to neighboring countries, relocation to safer zones within the country when evacuation is impractical, support for refugees, and support for communities and individuals remaining in their homes and communities,” Hauer stated. These embrace provision of transportation, safety, shelter, meals and clothes for hundreds of individuals at prices which can be extraordinarily inflated because of wartime.

Following the Holocaust and, many years later, the breakup of the previous Soviet Union, the place organized non secular exercise was all however unlawful, a Jewish renaissance in Ukraine occurred. But with estimates of between 200,000 and 350,000 Jews in Ukraine, the nation’s inhabitants is dwindling rapidly, as some 2.5 million Ukrainians thus far have escaped to hunt shelter in neighboring nations.

Rabbi Moshe Huer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union (OU), one of the largest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the United States.

Rabbi Moshe Huer, government vice chairman of the Orthodox Union (OU), one of many largest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the US.
(Orthodox Union)

With thousands and thousands of {dollars} thus far raised by Jewish organizations, many teams in Ukraine and surrounding nations are working across the clock to systematize the assistance.

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In a name organized by the OU with journalists on Wednesday, a number of charities and religion leaders spoke of their work and experiences.

Tzvi Sperber, the director of the charity JRoots, stated his group mobilized rapidly to assist. “We thought of the lessons that were learned, and that we learned most from the Shoah [Holocaust] itself: We couldn’t sit and not do anything. So that’s why we got on planes and we started to mobilize as quickly as we could.”

His group managed to discover a property in Krakov, Poland the place they’re housing round 100 individuals. As well as, he has additionally procured a lodge in the identical metropolis to assist with the rising refugee disaster. “We can only do our small little part here. We’re helping Jews and non-Jews.”

“Unfortunately, in the last 13 days, our city is under siege,” stated Rabbi Mendel Cohen. He is the chief rabbi of Mariupol, the besieged metropolis on the Sea of Azov. “The Jews of our community sit in shelters with no food, no water, no medicine, no phone, no internet. They cannot go out; the shops are empty. There is robbery in the streets and unfortunately, the Russians are playing psychological warfare with the people of Mariupol because they cannot take the city.”

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Cohen has now managed to flee the carnage and is operating issues for his group on the Ukrainian border with Moldova. He spoke of how two households tried to get out and ended up getting shot and killed for his or her courageous efforts.

“I see the pictures of the members of my community or setting my table for Shabbat [Sabbath.] We celebrate together Purim and Pesach, and I’m thinking: Are they alive? The kids who came to my kindergarten, the kids that learn in my school, where are they now? Do they have food? And I see the pictures, I see bodies in the streets of Mariupol [and] I’m asking myself again and again: Did I [do] the most I can?”

In a single outstanding story, Rabbi Refael Kruskal, who runs an orphanage in Odesa, stated he and his staff had been in a position to get out round 700 civilians in another country into Moldova. He stated his group included orphans, college students, workers and households of alumni from the middle. They’re now staying in motels on the bordering nation.

Ukrainians from all walks of life look to get shelter from the violence and many Jewish charities have stepped up to help.

Ukrainians from all walks of life look to get shelter from the violence and plenty of Jewish charities have stepped as much as assist.
(Orthodox Union)

“We’re working on getting also our psychological staff from Odesa,” Kruskal stated. “The kids have been through a tremendous amount of trauma. As resilient as they are, they’ve been through a tremendous amount of trauma.” 

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He continued: “The most important things for us is to try and bring some kind of semblance of normality back to their lives, by starting school [and] by starting lessons.” The rabbi stated it took them some 31 hours to get to Moldova and stated they’re sending free buses again as he vowed to do his greatest to assist these left behind. “We’re working on many fronts in order to save and get out as many people as possible.”

Kharkiv’s Chief Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz described his first six days of the battle earlier than he and his spouse had been in a position to go away. He confirmed what thousands and thousands have witnessed on their tv screens.

“As every day goes, the bombing is getting stronger. Every day there was […] bombing in the center of the city, next to our house, next to the synagogue. There were tanks going,” he recounted.

He and his spouse, Miriam, stated they fear about these left behind, particularly the aged, and spoke of the valiant volunteers serving to to avoid wasting individuals and convey them to rescue. They stated for the previous 32 years, they’d fear in regards to the non secular and bodily well-being of their group, however now they’ve to fret in regards to the survival of the whole group and saving as many lives as attainable.

“We feel that we are not alone, and everybody cares about what’s happening, [that] is extremely encouraging.”

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