The Russo-Ukrainian war has been going on for almost 2 months now.
Almost 24,000 civilians died in Ukraine. 7.1 million have been displaced. Women. Children. Old people. Jews. Christians. Muslims. Everyone has been affected by this tragedy.
The response to help has been amazing. People collect money, open their homes to refugees, buy clothes and medicine. I have seen, with my own eyes, the tragedy of people experiencing homelessness. My father says, home is a place in which you are born, you keep your books, and you die. The Ukrainian people affected by the war have lost this sense of home. Books burned. Babies born on the border of the country. Older folk passing away en route to safety. This is heart wrenching.
But there is hope. People all over the world are willing to help. Amazingly, people from all over the world are following the universally-held Jewish value of being responsible for one another, in our local community and in our world.
Local communities in Poland have opened up to help refugees take a breath before they choose where to go. Global communities have sent their representatives to the border to help the refugees go to their new home.
So much work has gone into helping a family. A mother with a 3 month old child, or a grandfather who can barely walk, are all welcomed by the volunteers from all over the world, working tirelessly day and night. The impact is evident! The grandfather has new shoes! He has been in his slippers for the past month, as he left his home in the middle of the night. The baby has a new onesie! She is adorable and is growing out of her clothes so fast.
The volunteers are tired. I am tired. It is a non-stop narrative of tragedy, loss, and fear. It is a non-stop proof of bravery, heart and hope. I am looking forward to coming home and sharing these stories with you.
If you would like to volunteer in Europe too, please see below.
Director of Volunteer Services
From the beginning of the recent crisis in Ukraine, both Israeli and North American Jewish organizations have been on the ground supporting refugees from the moment they’ve crossed the border into a neighboring country. This response created a demand for skilled professionals and The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), in collaboration with Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), has set up a central volunteer hub which will match potential North American volunteers with vetted opportunities.