"As Jews we are all bound
Since April, the region of Eastern Ukraine and its Jewish communities have been hit hard by extreme violence, political hostility, and rising anti-Semitism. A majority of the individuals who have not fled from their homes in the most violent regions, estimated at over 3,000 people, are Jewish disadvantaged children, elderly, and homebound individuals with lack of access to basic necessities. However, in the light of darkness, our global Jewish community has come together to assist those in need.
Through brave, kind volunteers and generous donations, our global Jewish community has been able to provide for refugees and those who have remained in Eastern Ukraine. To date, The American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has provided aid to thousands of Jews, delivering food, water, medicine, and other critical resources to Ukrainians that haven chosen to stay in the region. For those who have fled, estimated at over 2,000, assistance in the form of rental subsidies, clothing, shelter, counseling services, and general aid are being provided.
JDC’s work in Eastern Ukraine is part of a month-long emergency response to in the increased needs among the most vulnerable Jewish elderly and poor families all over Ukraine. The work includes stepped-up delivery of medications and food and upgraded homecare and counseling services for the stress-plagued staff members and clients. JDC mobile units have delivered critical supplies throughout the emergency from Kiev to Odessa to Kharkov.
JDC staff and local community volunteers have taken risks bringing food packages to homebound elderly people in areas of unrest. Homecare workers have spent nights in the homes of their most frail clients, and special operating hours and phone services at JDC relief centers, known as Heseds, are ensuring round-the-clock support.
Moreover, if and when the fighting stops, the next obstacle facing vulnerable and displaced Ukrainians is the issue of resettlement. An immense amount of damage has been reported. As described by Amanda Borschel-Dan of the Times of Israel, there are countless stories of ruined homes damaged by explosions and shelling; roofless houses with blown out doors, walls, and windows. As winter is quickly approaching in the region, there is worry about financial means to rebuild – compounded by instability of the Ukrainian economy. In response the JDC is preparing an urgent fundraising campaign to provide assistance to those who choose to resettle.
The aid that has been and continues to be provided to Ukrainian Jews is due solely to the generosity of Federation donors like you. Critical aid efforts on behalf of JDC cannot happen without your continued support. We urge you to donate what you can and to encourage your friends and family members to support our global Jewish community outreach initiatives.
Thank you, for all that you do.
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