June 7, 2023

The Vital Work of Saving Jews

Dov Ben-Shimon Federation CEO

These past two days I’ve been in New York for briefings with our partner agency, JDC, which is funded by our Annual UJA Campaign. I’ve been impressed and inspired by our shared commitment to ensure that every Jew, everywhere, is protected, saved, and cared for.As we spoke, the attack on the Kakhovka dam began. The massive dam holds back a reservoir equal in volume to the Great Salt Lake in the state of Utah. It’s huge — locals call it the Kakhovka Sea because you can’t see the other bank in certain places. Satellite imagery shows massive flooding along low-lying areas either side of the Dnipro river. Images from nearby Nova Kakhovka showed buildings surrounded by floodwaters and even swans paddling around a local government office. Homes are underwater, villages are submerged.

And just a couple of hours later, Federation-supported case workers arrived on the scene to help 400 stranded Jews evacuate and get to safety. They brought food and medicine, and they helped families and Shoah (Holocaust) survivors get to safety.

I was asked several times yesterday if our Jewish Federation should open up an emergency campaign to help the Jews of Kherson and the villages around the dam. But that’s what our United Jewish Appeal is – the best of us, in the fastest response time, doing the most vital work of saving Jews. Turning on a dime to make sure that no one gets left behind. No one.We’re finishing up the UJA Annual Campaign in a couple of weeks, so I would be remiss were I not to ask you to make, renew, or increase your annual UJA gift here. I hope you can see that supporting our Jewish Federation gives you a front-row seat to Jewish history as it happens. For my part, I’m so deeply proud that our values are on the ground, making sure that no Jew is left behind.