Impact Stories:

Aid to Ukraine Saves Lives

Jewish Federations Work Together to Meet the Urgent Needs of the Jewish Community in Ukraine

A collective $20 million campaign by Jewish Federations was set up late last week to meet the short-term and urgent needs of the Jewish community in Ukraine.

Some of those emergency needs are:

  • Transportation and security
  • Transit centers and temporary housing
  • Emergency assistance to refugees
  • Massive staff deployment
  • Security stipends for local NGOs
  • Aliyah flights
  • Initial klitah (absorbtion into Israel)

To date over $4 million in commitments has been secured. These funds will be allocated through the Jewish Federation's core partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, The Joint Distribution Committee, World ORT and others on the ground in Ukraine.

At this time the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has allocated $57,000, pending board approval, to be sent to help immediate needs in Ukraine.

Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)

  • The first group of olim from Ukraine crossed into Poland on February 26. The immigrants are being temporarily housed in a hotel near Warsaw where they will remain until they are flown to Israel shortly. Upon arrival in Israel, the olim will receive temporary housing, with help from the Ministry of Aliya and Integration.
  • The Jewish Agency is currently operating six processing centers in countries bordering Ukraine. As Ukrainian Jewish refugees arrive, the Jewish Agency processes aliyah applications.
  • Through its security fund, the Jewish Agency is responsible for the security of many Jewish communities around the world, including in Ukraine. The Jewish Agency is transferring funds to protect Ukrainian Jewish institutions and Jews remaining in Ukraine.
  • The Jewish Agency estimates that 10,000 Ukrainian Jews will want to make aliyah in the near future. They have already received 5,000 inquiries about aliyah.
  • The Jewish Agency is ready to absorb all those immigrants while continuing other immigration like the Ethiopian Aliyah.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

  • The JDC routinely cares for 16,000 Ukrainians over the age of 80 who are mostly homebound.
    • Approximately 9,900 of those are Holocaust survivors.
  • The JDC is still getting services to this elderly population with a large degree of success:
    • 90% in Kyiv
    • 80% in Kharkiv
    • 100% in Odesa
  • Some caretakers are actually sleeping in their client's homes to ensure good care.
  • JDC is still getting food and medicines to thousands of people despite army blockades and traffic from people attempting to flee Ukraine.
  • The JDC runs multiple Hesed Centers in Ukraine, (humanitarian aid and welfare centers), to serve the Jewish population.
    • Since fighting began, all Hesed Centers have opened their doors to help the general public as well, and provide supplies to nearby hospitals.
  • JDC is working with JAFI to secure temporary passports and evacuate people to neighboring countries in an orderly manner.
  • In cooperation with Jewish organizations in the surrounding countries, the JDC continues to help them find food, shelter and medical care once they cross the border.

Special Posts for Handling of Aliyah Candidate Refugees (JAFI)

JAFI Aliyah Candidate Refugee Posts 3-1-2022

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