Federations Issue Update on Ukraine Aid

Once again, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey joins with Jewish Federations across North America in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressing deep concern for the wellbeing of the country’s entire population, including the Jewish community. In community emails and social media posts issued today, we shared the following Jewish Federations statement: 
We are working to get help to those in need as quickly as possible through our partner organizations, The Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, and World ORT, which have mobilized their extensive operations on the ground.
Together we have been preparing for this worst-case scenario for weeks.
Plans now in motion rely on the strong presence built up through years of Federation support that is today serving as a critical lifeline to help protect and safeguard Ukraine's Jewish community, the many important Jewish organizations working in Ukraine, as well as Jews in neighboring countries.
We pray for safety for all, and for a speedy end to the hostilities. 
Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Rebecca Caspi, Director General, Israel Office; Senior Vice President, Israel and Overseas, and Shira Hutt, Executive Vice President provided an update this afternoon about Federation and partner aid activities (accurate to the time of this writing, subject to change). Excerpts include:
With the Russian invasion now underway and multiple locations under fire, concerns about the wellbeing of the Jewish community in Ukraine have accelerated. We are 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 has continued to be in very close and ongoing contact with staff at JDC, The Jewish Agency and World ORT - all of whom are updating their plans 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. 
As of now, we are aware that:
  • The Jewish Agency is focusing on Aliyah and community security, while JDC is looking to maintain critical welfare services and assist internally displaced people in multiple locations. 

  • Both JDC and the Jewish Agency have identified new and immediate needs, including emergency preparations and stockpiling of goods for JDC Heseds, moving the Jewish Agency operation from Kyiv to Lviv, initiating the Jewish Agency Aliyah hotline, securing temporary housing for people in transit, and the purchase of satellite phones to maintain communications across the region.

  • World ORT is preparing an updated request to support their school communities with humanitarian aid, and to ensure that schools and staffs are equipped to respond to emergency needs at the school locations. 

We will continue to keep you posted as we consult with key leadership. 
“Whenever and wherever there have been threats to Jewish life, Federation supports all efforts to provide critical aid,” said Susan Antman, Executive Director, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. “Federation supporters make it possible.” 
Antman added, “Thank you to the Jewish community across Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties for your continued support and for joining us in sending prayers for peace and safety to our family in Ukraine and beyond.”
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