(JNS.org) The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) has announced that it is sending $650,000 in emergency aid to help poor and displaced Jews in several eastern Ukrainian cities under siege from Russian government-backed rebel groups.
“We get worrisome updates constantly; our prayers are with those in need. We will do everything in our power to ensure that no Jew will be left homeless, go hungry, or not be able to emigrate on aliyah to Israel,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of IFCJ.
Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in fighting between the Western-backed Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels backed by Moscow. Recent peace talks between Russia and the West have failed to end the fighting and resolve the conflict.
According to IFCJ, the emergency humanitarian aid will provide three months of medicine, food, supplies for soup kitchens and security for synagogues and Jewish institutions in the embattled Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Lugansk, and Mariupol.
Additionally, the funds will cover temporary housing costs for Jews fleeing the violence, and will increase the discretionary funding IFCJ provides to 23 rabbis in Ukraine who support the Jewish community there. Overall, IFCJ has provided nearly $10 million in aid to Ukrainian Jews since the fighting began more than a year ago.