Updated May 9, 2022
We are continuing our massive efforts in response to the Ukraine crisis. Our system-wide fundraising has passed $60 million. You can read the latest developments and the status of relief efforts by our partners by clicking here. Israel is also reportedly planning to increase its military to Ukraine; for more information, click here.
Yesterday’s Ukraine webinar focused on the $33 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, as well as multiple updates regarding Ukrainian refugee resettlement in the United States through the new Uniting for Ukraine Program. The supplemental aid package includes $1.2 billion to provide certain benefits to Ukrainians coming to the U.S. and agencies supporting them. We are advocating that Congress pass this package as quickly as possible. In the coming days, we will share updates on how Federations can participate and engage volunteers in the sponsorship effort. For more information, please see Jewish Federations’ updated FAQs, or email Max Harris with any questions.
Updated May 3, 2022
We are continuing our massive efforts to help those in need in Ukraine. Click here to read an update about the latest developments, including the most recent relief programs that have been launched by Federations and our partners.
Federations have now allocated a combined $48 million to the Ukraine relief effort. The most recent $1.2 million allocation went toward organizations such as Hadassah Medical Organization for medical delegations and trauma units, the Israel Trauma Coalition for trauma relief, and Nefesh B'Nefesh for immigrant absorption. You can get more details on the allocations here.
Our twice-weekly webinar series on Ukraine continues; yesterday’s program highlighted the work of the Israel Trauma Coalition, along with the launch of the new federal website, "Uniting for Ukraine," that will enable groups and individuals to sponsor the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees for up to two years in their communities. We are working with government and other partners to assess how Federations can participate in this program through sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. We will share those details soon. To view a detailed PowerPoint that summarizes the new program, click here. Contact Max Harris with questions.
To register for our future webinars, which take place on Monday and Thursday afternoons at 4:30 ET, click here.
Updated April 18, 2022
Millions of Ukrainians, including tens of thousands of Jews, have fled the country and millions of others are internally displaced. Jewish Federations and our partners continue to work together to ensure that urgent relief reaches those most in need.
Jewish Federations have collectively raised $50 million for Ukrainian relief efforts since the fighting began. Click here to see the latest update on the allocations process and decisions. Please read the latest update on the Ukraine crisis, including the ongoing efforts of Jewish Federations and our partners on the ground.
There will be no Ukraine briefings scheduled this week, during the week of Passover. We will continue with the briefings on April 25. Please click here to register for the twice-weekly, half-hour series, which takes place every Monday and Thursday at 4:30 pm ET.
Updated April 8, 2022
Updated April 4, 2022
Our relief efforts at the borders of Ukraine continue unabated. Federation leaders have been meeting with refugees at the Ukrainian border with Poland, learning the needs on the ground and helping to mobilize our community response. You can read more about these missions here and a reflection from Mark Wilf and Eric Fingerhut here.
Following President Biden’s announcement last week that the U.S. will accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, members of our community immediately offered to help with resettlement efforts. The government has not informed us of the following essential details: how many people will be admitted, when they will be permitted to come, where they will be resettled, what legal process will enable their resettlement, and what government benefits they will be eligible for.
Please take these action steps:
The very first contingent of Russian-speaking Jewish professionals from North America arrived this week to provide translation services and humanitarian assistance. To volunteer for this program (please note that only those who speak Russian and/or Ukrainian are being selected at this time), click here. For a list of FAQ’s, click here. For more information, please email Sarah Eisenman.
Please don’t miss our half-hour Monday and Thursday webinars. Yesterday’s program featured Yotam Polizer, the CEO of IsraAID, and focused on humanitarian relief in Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. For a recording of yesterday’s webinar, click here. To register for the whole series at once, click here. Webinars continue at 4:30 pm ET every Monday and Thursday.
Updated March 28, 2022
JFNA is offering half-hour webinars twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, to update everyone about the rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine. To register for the entire series, click here. For a recording of Thursday’s session, click here. And click here to get the latest update on Ukraine.
This week, President Biden authorized the immigration to the United States of 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. In addition to our recent Fly-In to D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill for refugee relief and resettlement, Jewish Federations had catalyzed a campaign by more than 375 Jewish and interfaith groups to urge the government to admit these refugees to our country. We are immensely grateful that all these efforts have already borne fruit.
Thirty leaders of Federations from across North America, participated in our second mission to the Polish-Ukrainian border this week, which was featured in this article.
In addition, Mark Wilf appeared widely in both the Jewish and mainstream media this week in relation to his experience leading the first mission, including interviews with CNBC, i24, JNS, and the Minnesota Vikings. Julie Platt, chair of LiveSecure and incoming board chair of JFNA, appeared on Tablet's Unorthodox podcast, discussing the work JFNA is doing in Ukraine and speculating on why so many alumni of Camp Ramah, including her sons Ben and Jonah, have ended up on Broadway.
As announced last week, JFNA is preparing, in collaboration with the Jewish Agency and the JDC, to send Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking volunteers to the war-torn region to provide humanitarian support and assist Jewish refugees who wish to make Aliyah. We anticipate that the first cohort will depart in early April. To apply for the program, click here. For a list of FAQ’s, click here. For more information, please email Sarah Eisenman.
Welcoming Ukrainians: As the United States prepares to admit 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, join Jewish Federations, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, and HIAS on Tuesday, April 5 at 3:30pm ET to learn how our community can begin to mobilize to welcome and support them. Register here.
Holocaust Survivors Respond to the War in Ukraine: JFNA’s Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma applauds both the Washington Post and the Jerusalem Post for recent articles that highlight the intense pain felt by Holocaust survivors in the United States who are being retraumatized by watching what is taking place in Ukraine. Thank you to CJESeniorlife in Chicago, Kleinlife in Philadelphia, Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, and Selfhelp Community Services in New York, for their help with the articles. Click here for the Washington Post article and here for the Jerusalem Post article.
Updated March 24, 2022
Updated March 20, 2022
Civilian and military deaths continue to mount in Ukraine as fighting enters a fourth week. Despite enormous Russian efforts, the capital Kyiv has still not fallen. Millions of Ukrainians, including tens of thousands of Jews, are still attempting to flee the country. For more information click here.
Updated March 18, 2022
Click here for the latest Ukraine update. It includes breaking news, including the fact that Israel is about to open a field hospital in western Ukraine.
Our first Fly-In to the Polish-Ukrainian border just wrapped up; it was an unforgettable experience for the first thirty Federation leaders who participated this week. After flying to Warsaw and being briefed by Polish Jewish leaders, we witnessed thousands of refugees crossing into Poland and being taken care of by our partners, the Jewish Agency and JDC, as well as by the many other relief agencies from around the world that have converged in eastern Poland. You can view brief clips of participants reflecting on the trip here. Another Fly-In is set for next week, and two additional ones are planned for early April.
Our intensive fundraising efforts to meet the immediate needs of the crisis continue; Federations have collectively raised more than $27 million since the crisis began three weeks ago.
It is also being widely reported today that Prime Minister Bennett has been the “primary international negotiator” in the ongoing peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. For more, see today’s Times of Israel article. We pray that these efforts bear fruit in the very near future.
Join over 260 Jewish Federations and Faith Partners to Urge the Administration to Support Ukrainian Refugees: We are urging the administration to expedite admissions for Ukrainian refugees with close family ties in the US. We urge you, your partner agencies, and faith partners to sign the Federation-led national and local letter asking the Biden Administration to begin admitting pending Lautenberg and visa applicants so they can wait in the US in safety.
Updated March 17, 2022
Your Impact by the Numbers – Your Dollars Have Made a Real Impact. Click here.
Join Jewish Federations in Urging Administration to Support Ukrainian Refugees: Thank you for joining Jewish Federations last week in urging a robust congressional response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Now, our attention turns to the Administration, whom we are urging to expedite admissions for Ukrainian refugees with close family ties in the US. We urge you, your partner agencies, and faith partners to sign this Federation-led national and local letter asking the Biden Administration to begin admitting pending Lautenberg and visa applicants so they can wait in the US in safety. Click here to read the letter and here to sign. The deadline is THIS Friday at 12pm ET. If you have any questions, please contact Darcy Hirsh.
Recent Coverage and Articles:
Washington Post – March 16, 2022: For Holocaust survivors from Ukraine, Russian invasion stirs painful memories
Jerusalem Post – March 15, 2022: A day with the Jewish rescue force helping Ukrainian refugees
Jerusalem Post – March 15, 2022: 'We're in the business of saving Jewish lives'
The Alegmeiner – March 15, 2022: They Will Return With New Enthusiasm: Under Russian Fire Ukrainian Jewish Women Pledge To Help Rebuild Country
Jerusalem Post – March 15, 2022: Ukraine invasion retraumatizes US Holocaust survivors
Times of Israel – March 14, 2022: In Poland, Jewish Federations head calls on world to welcome all Ukrainian refugees
Jerusalem Post – March 14, 2022: Jewish Federations can assemble support quickly to help refugees
eJewishPhilanthropy – March 14, 2022: Inside two delegations of Jewish leaders heading to the Ukrainian border
Updated March 11, 2022
While Russian aggression in Ukraine continues unabated, Jewish Federations, our partners, the Israeli government, philanthropic foundations, and other players are working around the clock to deliver critical assistance, including helping the thousands of Jews attempting to leave the country. Below is the information we wanted to share with the community.
For the latest information on the emergency response activities of JDC and the Jewish Agency read today’s Ukraine Crisis update.
The critical needs are growing each and every day of this conflict. The Rochester community has shown enormous support by raising over $600,000 for Ukraine of which 100% will go directly to our partner organizations in Ukraine including The Jewish Agency for Israel, Joint Distribution Committee, and World ORT.
Update March 7, 2022
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine gathers force, a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding before our eyes. Jewish Federations, our partners in Ukraine, the Israeli government, philanthropic foundations, and others are working feverishly around the clock to furnish aid, including helping the thousands of Jews who are attempting to flee the country. For background from our Israel office, please read this Ukraine update to learn more about the efforts that we are mounting to help the Jewish community of Ukraine. To watch the briefing that JFNA and UJA-NY sponsored on Tuesday, click here.
JFNA’s Ukraine Allocations Subcommittee met this week to review funding requests and get the vital dollars you are raising to our partners who are doing lifesaving work in and around Ukraine. The Subcommittee approved an initial allocation of $8M and made plans to meet early next week to review and approve additional requests so funds continue to flow where they are needed most. This first round of funding saw dollars going to the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, World ORT, United Hatzalah, and Hillel International.
These collective emergency funds will address major areas of need as identified by our partners, including:
The Jewish Agency and JDC have established emergency hotlines to assist the Jewish community in Ukraine. In addition to Federation’s role in supporting the funding of these hotlines, we thought they might be helpful to you or your friends and family who may have loved ones caught up in this crisis
Please join and spread the word in your communities about our next Ukraine Crisis Update webinar, hosted by National Young Leadership Cabinet, scheduled for Wednesday, March 9 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT. Register here.
We are also hosting a special gathering for Russian-speaking Jewish professionals today, Friday, March 4, from 3:30-4:15pm ET, to share their thoughts and feelings about the conflict. This is intended for Russian-speaking Jewish professionals only, and we invite you please extend this opportunity to RSJ colleagues in your Federations and local agencies. Register here.
Please see these additional updates and reminders:
Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine: JFNA is partnering with COJECO (Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations) on Monday, March 7 from 12:30-1:45pm ET to offer a webinar on how to talk about—and what to do about—the crisis in Ukraine. We need to address the misunderstandings and tensions in our communities that are already cropping up. Speakers will include representatives from both Razom for Ukraine and Project Kesher (organizations working on the ground in Ukraine), as well as Prof. Gennady Estraikh (expert in Soviet Jewish history) from NYU and Ellen Mahoney, who is mentoring the teachers at the Perchersk School in Kyiv. Register here.
Update March 4, 2022
While Russian aggression in Ukraine continues unabated, a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding. Jewish Federations, our partners, the Israeli government, philanthropic foundations, and other players are working around the clock to deliver critical assistance, including helping the thousands of Jews attempting to leave the country.
Please see the latest Ukraine update on our collective efforts to help the Jewish community of Ukraine.
The situation is changing rapidly and the next JFNA Ukraine Crisis Update webinar, hosted by National Young Leadership Cabinet, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT. Register here.
JFNA will also be hosting a special gathering for Russian-speaking Jewish professionals on Friday, March 4, from 3:30 – 4:15pm ET. This will be a dedicated space for Russian-speaking Jewish professionals only, and we extend this opportunity to RSJ colleagues in our Federation and local agencies. Register here.
Update March 2, 2022
This morning we woke up to day seven of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with fighting intensifying in several Ukrainian cities.
Yesterday, JFNA partnered with UJA-Federation of New York to bring your voices from the field representing NSCEJ, JDC and the Jewish Agency in a system-wide webinar. Our speakers shared updates on the heartbreaking reality of living through a war and the heroic humanitarian efforts our Federations are supporting. If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording.
We also invite you to join us next week, on Wednesday, March 9th at 12:00pm ET/9:00am PT for another Ukraine update, hosted by Federation’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, which is open to the System. You can register here.
JFNA’s Ukraine Allocations Subcommittee met yesterday to review funding requests and get the vital dollars you are raising to our partners who are doing life-saving work in and around Ukraine. The Subcommittee approved an initial allocation of $7.9M and made plans to meet early next week to review and approve additional requests so funds continue flowing where they are needed most. This first round of funding saw dollars going to the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, World ORT, United Hatzalah, and Hillel International.
These collective emergency funds will address major areas of need as identified by our partners, including:
As we know, the situation remains fluid and the needs are growing in response. This allocation represents an initial step to respond to urgent needs on the ground in Ukraine and in neighboring countries to which people are fleeing in great numbers. JFNA’s Israel and Overseas team continues to work closely with our primary overseas partner agencies and other organizations assisting in Ukraine to assess additional and emerging needs.
Updated February 24th, 2022
With the Russian invasion now underway and multiple locations under fire, concerns about the wellbeing of the Jewish community in Ukraine have accelerated. JFNA is also tracking potential vulnerabilities within the Russian Jewish community which might emerge in response to the strong Israeli position supporting Ukraine.
JFNA’s Israel and Overseas professional team is has continued to be in very close and ongoing contact with staff at JDC, The Jewish Agency for Israel and World ORT - all of whom are evolving their responses in response to mounting challenges. JFNA has also heard from other organizations operating in Ukraine and we are aggregating information they have provided.
The exact nature and number of services needed, as well as how many people will request or require different forms of assistance, is not yet clear, but we are quickly getting a handle on some of the essential infrastructure and staffing costs that these operations will incur. Though not yet a comprehensive or full plan, we wanted to keep you updated on what we are learning so far. We are working to have an initial vetted proposal ready for consideration in the coming days.
As of now, we are aware that:
We hope to have more information before Shabbat.
There are multiple ways you and your organization can help people in Ukraine.
Please visit any one of the following to contribute.
Ukrainian Federal Credit Union
824 E Ridge Rd, Rochester, NY 14621 | 900 Holt Rd, Suite 4, Webster, NY 14580
Monday-Wednesday: 9:30am - 4pm
Thursday: 9:30am - 6pm
Friday: 9am - 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Non-perishable food items AND everything listed above is also being accepted at the following locations:
Alpha European Grocery & Deli
2840 W Ridge Rd, Rochester, NY 14626
Monday-Friday, 10am – 7pm
Alpha European Grocery & Deli
305 E Ridge Rd, Rochester, NY 14621
Monday-Friday, 10am - 7pm
Alpha European Grocery & Deli
4343 Buffalo Rd, North Chili, NY 14514
Monday-Friday, 10am – 5pm
1694 Penfield Rd Rochester, NY, 14625
The Least of These Ukranian Relief Drive
Drop off parcels or individual items including: non-perishable food/can openers; diapers; hygiene products; medical supplies; sleeping bags; thin blankets; wet wipes; clothing/ footwear/ socks of all sizes and clean, new boxes for packaging & shipping to: 4343 Buffalo Road Spencerport, NY
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
Support Ukraine PayPal