Ukraine crisis photo courtesy JDC


Two Ways to Give

To contribute by check to this relief effort, please send checks payable to the Jewish Federation (note: Ukraine relief) to 441 East Avenue, Rochester NY 14607. To contribute using a credit card, click on the Donate Now button to the right.

What's happening in Ukraine, and what Federation is doing about it 

The estimated 300,000 Jewish residents in Kiev and throughout Ukraine have been profoundly affected by the violence and political and economic instability that have wracked the country since January. Though the election of new president Petro Poroshenko, widely supported by Ukraine's Jews, inspires hope for a more secure future, 17,000 Jews in Crimea remain concerned about Russia's ongoing territorial occupation of the peninsula. Many more are worried by militant pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and deepening divisions within the country.

In a special teleconference with Federation leaders, Ira Forman, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor & Combat Anti-Semitism, stressed the need to remain vigilant to any sign of rising nationalism in Ukraine and across Europe, which could result in increased anti-Semitic acts, to targeted Russian propaganda campaigns that seek to stir up an exaggerated fear of rising anti-Semitism and extremism in Ukraine for political purposes.

Federation partner agencies JDC, the Jewish Agency for Israel and World ORT, as well as NCSJ, have been working tirelessly to ensure the safety of Jewish communities and their institutions, and continue their much-needed work. On conference calls on March 3 (summary and recording here) and May 7, they confirmed that, contrary to reports, most Jews are not considering a mass exodus from Ukraine--which makes their on-the-grond work even more important.

Here's what our partner agencies are doing:

  • JDC activated its emergency response network, including a specific plan for Crimea, to ensure uninterrupted home deliveries of food, medicine, heating and cooking fuel, and sustained life-saving care at home for the elderly. It has increased security at select Jewish communal institutions and Hesed social welfare centers. JDC has also brought Israeli psychologists and trauma specialists to provide intensive emotional support to Jews and the general public. But due to a nationwide economic crisis, JDC is now facing increasing operational costs, including a 100 percent increase in the price of medicines and high costs for fuel and transportation. For updates and testimonials, please visit JDC's Ukraine dashboard and field blog, and read coverage of their work, their CEO's Op-Eds in JTA and eJewishPhilanthropy and their president's letter in the New York Times.

 

 

  • World ORT has launched a campaign to raise $200,000 to fund increased security at four of its schools in Ukraine. Each school has several hundred students, many of whom travel to class through now-dangerous areas. Programs have been canceled, and the Odessa school has seen a more than 50 percent drop in attendance. The father of a student at the Chernovtsy school was killed during clashes in Kiev on February 20. World ORT's security plans include hiring additional security guards and installing closed-circuit TV and alarm systems on school grounds. Parents and teachers at World ORT schools have expressed their thanks to supporters in a thank-you note and a personal testimonial. For more information on World ORT’s Ukraine programs and needs, please read ORT’s Ukraine prospectus and school security plan, and their COO's latest Op-Ed in The Jewish News in London.

 

Jewish Federations are committed to working with our partners at home and abroad throughout this crisis. Sustained financial support from Federations enables our partners to continue funding much-needed programming and develop new initiatives to meet immediate needs, especially amid Ukrainian economic stagnation and severe inflation. We are continuing to collect donations to our overseas partners through our Ukraine mailbox. Donate now!

For information about emerging needs and funding opportunities within the Ukrainian Jewish community, please contact Rina Goldberg or Becky Caspi.   



Media Resources

Ukraine's Jews welcome election results (Haaretz, 5/27/2014)

Lag b'Omer in Odessa (Forward, 5/18/2014)

Odessa Jews lay low (Forward, 5/12/2014)

Kharkiv Jews remain calm (Forward, 5/8/2014)

Odessa Jews have no plans to leave (JTA, 5/7/2014)

Jewish mayor of Kharkiv shot (Tablet, 4/29/2014)

Ukraine's Jews tired of Kiev-Moscow battles (Christian Science Monitor, 4/28/2014)

Demands that Jews register are false (NYTimes, 4/17/2014)

Ukrainian Jews Celebrate Passover Amid Crisis (NPR, 4/14/2014)

Holocaust memorial in Odessa vandalized (Haaretz, 4/10/2014)

Sharp rise in immigration from Ukraine (Haaretz, 4/8/2014)

Among Jews in Ukraine, the Bigger Worry Is Putin, Not Pogroms (NYTimes, 4/8/2014)

The unlikely street-fighting rabbi (Forward, 4/7/2014)

Spotlight on JFNA's involvement in Ukraine (Arutz Sheva, 3/21/2014)

How Federation money from New Jersey is helping Jews in Ukraine (New Jersey Jewish News, 3/19/2014)

Three Jews among those killed in February Kiev protests (Haaretz, 3/18/2014)

Ukraine's Prime Minister vows to protect Jews (Arutz Sheva, 3/17/2014)

Spotlight on Jews in Dnepropetrovsk, their new Jewish mayor, and their partnership with Boston's Jewish community (Boston Globe, 3/16/2014)

On the ground with Moishe House Kiev (eJewish Philanthropy, 3/10/14)

Ukraine Jewish Committee dispels rumors of anti-Semitism (Jerusalem Post, 3/10/14)

Message from the president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress (2/25/14)

Report on the Giymat Rosa Synagogue bombing (JTA, 2/24/14)

Images above are courtesy of JDC, and show the protest barricades, damage to Kiev, and the agency's efforts to reach homebound seniors even during this time of crisis.