It’s been almost a year since pro-Russian separatists began battling Ukrainian forces in the eastern part of the country. Over 5,000 civilians have died and 12,000 others have been wounded. Thousands of Jews have been swept up in the political and military conflict.
We’ve done a good job so far, working with our colleagues on the ground. Our federation system has sent some $3M in emergency financing last year. We’ve helped bring people to safety, to bring food, medicine and vital care. And we’ve reflected the highest values of our Jewish community: to care for those in need, to build Jewish community, and to save lives.
But we’re not done.
The east of Ukraine is filled with combat zones. Constant sniper and artillery attacks are part of daily life.
5,000 elderly and disabled Jews in Donetsk-Lugansk are trapped in place – cut off from the rest of the country.
Most shockingly, some 2,000 Jews have become displaced from their homes, unable to find safe havens elsewhere. Think about this for a moment: for the first time since the Second World War, there are now Jewish refugees on European soil. We never thought we’d see that happen.
There’s more for us to do. This is the very definition of an emergency. And the moment of truth for all those who claim to care.
Food, medicine, winter assistance is critical right now. We need to support our partners on the ground to meet basic humanitarian needs, to help those seeking to make Aliyah to Israel, and to continue vital educational and community programs.
Our help is literally the difference between life and death. And we can’t turn away…because no one else is going to step up in the way we can to help those in need.
There are too many who say, “someone else will help.”
But that’s us. We are the someone else.
If you care – if you believe that a Jew shouldn’t stand by when another Jew is in danger – now is the time. Don't give a gift because we're asking for help. Give a gift because you believe in your own ability to care, to build — and to save.
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