CRISIS IN UKRAINE

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, more than 6 million people have fled the country, seeking refuge across the border. Those who remain in Ukraine are facing a dire humanitarian crisis. UJA and our partners have been on the ground from the beginning responding to emergency needs.

Right now, priorities include:

Emergency relief in Ukraine: The homebound elderly, Holocaust survivors, and people with disabilities are among those in no position to leave the country. Our partners are ensuring their continued care, often at risk to themselves. We’re providing medical and other basic supplies, helping those who have been displaced by rocket fire and continuing evacuation efforts.

Refugee aid in neighboring countries: Refugees pouring into Poland, Moldova, Hungary, and Romania are exhausted and traumatized. Through JDC and partners on the ground, we’re providing food, water, shelter, medical supplies, and psychological first aid. 

Facilitating aliyah: So far, more than 89,000 calls have been received at The Jewish Agency hotline, 400 rescue buses have been organized out of Ukraine, and 18,000 olim from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia have arrived in Israel.


Our Work on the Ground

The Jewish population of Ukraine is mainly concentrated in Kyiv and in western Ukraine (68,000); eastern Ukraine (100,000); and Odessa and southern Ukraine (30,000) and includes tens of thousands of needy Jewish elderly and poor families.

To date, UJA-Federation of New York has allocated more than $13 million in emergency funding. We expect additional needs and requests to emerge in the days and weeks ahead.  

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Below is a breakdown of the grants made to date:

PASSOVER SUPPORT

We've allocated $2.3 million to 20 organizations of every size and denomination to meet needs in 24 cities across Ukraine and nine countries housing refugees. Our partners will be helping 20,000 people to participate in seders, distributing over 43 tons of matzah, delivering approximately 22,000 Passover seder kits, and giving out 5,000 Haggadot. The World Central Kitchen will also be serving 15,000 Passover meals a day to refugees in Poland during the holiday. 

Grantees: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Central Council of Jews in Germany, Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine (Chabad), Hillel International, JCC Budapest, JCC Warsaw, The Jewish Agency for Israel, JUICE, Limmud FSU, Masorti Olami/The Schechter Institute, Moishe House, NATAN/JCC Krakow, Office of the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Orthodox Union, United Hatzalah, World Central Kitchen, World Union for Progressive Judaism, Yedioth Ahronoth  

HUMANITARIAN AID IN UKRAINE

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) — $2.6 million to ensure uninterrupted humanitarian aid including food, medicine, winter relief, shelter for the displaced, and emergency assistance for the most vulnerable Jews throughout Ukraine — JDC support is now expanding to help non-Jews as well, as the demand for assistance is immense. 

Project Kesher — $35,000 to support single women and single mothers by providing emergency assistance to assure they have adequate food and supplies and the capacity to seek safe passage to other parts of Ukraine. Project Kesher is a grassroots organization with a significant presence in Ukraine.

The Afya Foundation — $455,000 to provide urgently needed medical supplies including surgical kits, wound care supplies, PPE, and portable biomedical equipment.

Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine (FJC) — $460,000 to support food delivery and first aid packages to the 30,000 neediest members of the Jewish community throughout Ukraine. Each package will have 1-2 months’ worth of dried food and other essential supplies. 

Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund — $500,000 for emergency aid. UHF was established to help meet the most critical needs of the conflict-affected population in eastern Ukraine. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it is one of the quickest, most effective ways to directly support the most urgent lifesaving humanitarian aid in Ukraine. 

Moishe House — $85,000 for emergency relief for participants and staff who remain in Ukraine and assistance with evacuation and relocation. 

JUICE — $40,000 for temporary housing so that people can have access to food, hygiene, and a decent night’s sleep, as well as emergency kits and psychological support for those in route to neighboring countries. JUICE is a grassroots organization that creates innovative social activities for Jewish young adults and their families, enabling them to discover and develop their own Jewish identities. 

JCC Mykolaiv — $18,000 to support the delivery of food, water, and medicine in the city of Mykolaiv, which is adjacent to Mariupol, the scene of intense fighting. 

United Hatzalah — $535,000 to support emergency efforts within Ukraine and Moldova, including the provision of humanitarian and medical services and supplies.  

Sephardic Heritage Museum — $180,000 to provide rabbis in Ukraine with funds to meet the needs of their communities, including food, water, and personal hygiene kits to those sheltering in-place, as well as resources to offset the costs of evacuation for those choosing to leave. This New York-based organization, which is dedicated to the preservation of Sephardic heritage and culture, remains closely connected to Sephardic rabbis across the globe, including in Ukraine, and has historically been involved in rescuing Sephardic jobs from Syria and Yemen. 

Pirogov Medical Battalion — $100,000 to support a volunteer mobile hospital now providing mobile medical support to the wounded on the front lines across Ukraine. 

World Central Kitchen — $788,000 to support food costs for 300 children and caregivers from Tikva orphanages in Ukraine, who evacuated to a camp facility in Romania. 

RESCUE

Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) — $940,000 to assist large numbers of people who want to make aliyah very quickly by providing shelter, food, supplies, transport, and safe passage out of Ukraine by land and ultimately by air to Israel, including moving the aliyah processing center out of Kyiv.

REFUGEE SUPPORT

Israel Trauma Coalition – $150,000 to provide trauma training and support to therapists, care providers, and local mental health experts in Ukraine, where ITC has established and maintained relationships with professionals and organizations on the ground since the conflict in 2014. They are also supporting local communities under stress in neighboring countries that are taking in thousands of refugees.

IsraAid — $150,000 to support refugees in Moldova by providing water, sanitation, hygiene, and psychological first aid. Their current focus is in setting up children and mothers in safe spaces.

JCC Krakow — $162,500 for general support/relief for refugees, including partnering with local NGOs to provide legal services and psychological counseling.  

HIAS — $600,000 to meet refugees’ medium-term needs such as focus on mental health services, gender-based violence support, and legal aid for women and girls, children, and those identifying as LGBTQ+. HIAS is also providing food and shelter to refugees, as well as those who are still in Ukraine.  

Hillel International — $105,000 to Hillels in Ukraine, Poland, and Germany to provide emergency cash for staff and families to cover costs of displacement and resettlement, and emergency assistance for food, shelter, and mental health support.

Odessa Chabad — $10,000 for food, shelter, and evacuation support. 

Office of the Chief Rabbi of Poland — $175,000 for emergency crisis management services for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, including temporary housing and food; a day center at Hillel in Warsaw, including furniture, toys, and computers, along with staff and security; and temporary shelter at the Ukrainian-Polish border through the purchase of RV campers.  

NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief — $150,000 to support this Israeli, volunteer-lead humanitarian aid organization that disperses teams of medical professionals during global crises. An initial delegation from NATAN is currently in Poland, near the Ukrainian border, and has begun to treat refugees with medical and trauma care. This work will soon expand to a full-scale medical and psychosocial center to aid refugees.

Charity Taxi — $10,000 to support the collection and distribution of donated items from the Jewish community in Hungary (food and other supplies such as space heaters, blankets, and hygiene kits). 

JCC Warsaw — $100,000 to support a daycare center for Ukrainian children who are now refugees in Warsaw, with plans underway to provide support for mothers with legal services and assistance in finding employment. 

VOICE — $200,000 to identify and respond to the humanitarian needs of women and girls and other marginalized populations such as people of color and those identifying as LGBTQ who are facing discrimination as they attempt to cross the border and access support. A second grant is providing health care to women who have experienced violence.

JCC Budapest — $100,000 to provide food, shelter, mental health services while also planning for the Passover needs of Jewish refugees. 

Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) — $830,000 to help kids who have been impacted by the war enjoy summer camp in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Funds will also support summer camp in Israel for an estimated 400 Ukrainian refugee children. 

In New York 

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) — $30,000 to support assistance and legal advice for families in the United States expecting the arrival of loved ones from Ukraine.

Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community Center of Bensonhurst — $300,000 to support a basket of services, including case management and cash assistance, for Ukrainian refugees arriving in New York.

In Israel 

Amigour — $48,000 to support this project of the Jewish Agency, focused on the needs of seniors in Israel. Funds will be used to outfit and furnish 300 apartments for Ukrainian refuges.  

Yad L’Olim and Gvahim — $40,000 to launch a massive employment fair for new olim. 

Shorashim — $52,000 to help those who want to make aliyah from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus find the relevant documentation to qualify under the Law of Return.  

Lobby Ha’Million — $30,000 to support the absorption of Russian-speaking olim, advocating for a better social, economic, religious, and cultural reality.  

Keter Ukranian Aid — $5,000 to support a pop-up “shop” near the aliyah offices in Jerusalem that offers toiletries, clothing, toys, bedding, and more.  


Resources To Help You

We recognize the multiple ties so many in our community have to the region. If you’re looking for help on behalf of loved ones (or even yourself), please see the following resources

How You Can Help

If you’d like to make a gift to support the critical, mounting needs in Ukraine, donate now.

UJA’s ability to respond immediately to this crisis and others is in part due to its endowment, funded by legacy gifts. Please consider a gift for the future in your estate plans.  

Resources to Help You

We recognize the multiple ties so many in our community have to the region. If you’re looking for help on behalf of loved ones (or even yourself), please see the following resources.

See Resources

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you’d like to make a gift to support the critical, mounting needs in Ukraine, donate now.

UJA’s ability to respond immediately to this crisis and others is in part due to its endowment, funded by legacy gifts. Please consider a gift for the future in your estate plans.

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