Responding to widespread power outages and preparing for what is projected to be a worsening humanitarian crisis this winter in Ukraine, Jewish Federations of North America are allocating $7 million for Ukraine aid, including a focus on emergency winter relief. Relief efforts will provide urgent support to over 22,000 Ukrainian Jews through Federations’ core partner JDC (The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) and to additional NGO’s that are supporting refugees. The funds will be used for purchasing and distributing warm blankets and clothing, portable heaters and cooking stoves, nonperishable foods, flashlights and other emergency items, and provisions for warming centers and hot meals.
“The winter forecast in Ukraine is extremely concerning, with the potential for an even graver humanitarian crisis, and our latest allocation reflects our attention to the evolving needs on the ground and our ongoing commitment to provide relief where it is most needed,” said Jewish Federations of North America President & CEO Eric Fingerhut. “The North American Jewish community continues to respond in tremendous ways to this crisis, and this collective response is a reflection of our Jewish values that dictate the utmost importance of charity – tzedakah.”
Since the outbreak of the war, Jewish Federations have raised a collective $78 million for Ukraine aid. Funds have been directed to their core partners JDC, The Jewish Agency for Israel and World ORT, as well as to over 50 NGOs providing humanitarian aid and relief to refugees in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Funding has supported emergency operational costs, temporary housing and transportation costs, security, humanitarian support and trauma and medical relief, and immigration and absorption in Israel.
The latest $7 million allocation also includes a package to support the high costs of Russian Aliyah (immigration) to Israel. Since the beginning of the war, 52,500 new immigrants have arrived in Israel from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus with the aid of Jewish Federations’ partner, The Jewish Agency for Israel.
In addition to providing humanitarian aid for refugees, Jewish Federations successfully advocate for expanded refugee rights and resettlement in the U.S. and operate a $1 million Ukrainian Resettlement Grant Initiative with matching funds from the Shapiro Foundation. Jewish Federations also lead a Global Volunteer Hub and have placed some 100 Russian-speaking Jewish volunteers from the U.S. and Canada in placements in Poland and Hungary to support refugee relief efforts.
Jewish Federations’ multi-pronged support of Ukrainian refugees is the result of a system-wide, decades-long investment in supporting vulnerable populations around the globe and building flourishing Jewish communities both domestically and abroad.