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Jewish Federations allocate $7 million to support JDC’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, Russian ‘aliyah’

“As a new stage in the Ukraine crisis has begun, we have moved from a program of winter relief to winter survival,” JDC CEO Ariel Zwang said in a statement.

Ukrainians take refuge in a subway station that serves as a shelter for thousands of people during a rocket and bomb attack by Russian forces, February 2022. Credit: Drop of Light/Shutterstock.
Ukrainians take refuge in a subway station that serves as a shelter for thousands of people during a rocket and bomb attack by Russian forces, February 2022. Credit: Drop of Light/Shutterstock.

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) on Thursday announced a new allocation of $7 million  that will contribute to aid for Ukraine in response to widespread power outages as well as in anticipation of a worsening humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country this winter.

JFNA’s allocation will help fund the relief efforts of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which on Thursday said its staff and volunteers would initially provide “essential, life-saving support” to over 22,000 Ukrainian Jews.

JDC is providing Ukrainian Jews with supplies including portable heaters and cooking stoves, sleeping bags that can withstand subzero temperatures, rechargeable flashlights and nonperishable foods for the first time, adding to its usual wintertime distributions of warm blankets and fleece-lined clothing, wood and coal, and subsidies for higher utility bills.

“As a new stage in the Ukraine crisis has begun, we have moved from a program of winter relief to winter survival. Among the tens of thousands of Jews we care for in Ukraine, we are seeing a drastic uptick in needs, from sources of sustainable warmth to covering the costs of living every day,” JDC CEO Ariel Zwang said in a statement. “Our staff and volunteers have not stopped our life-saving services within Ukraine, along with those for refugees in Europe, and will continue to ensure that Jews and Jewish communities have the supplies they need to survive the coming months.”

Eric Fingerhut, JFNA’s president & CEO, stated, “The winter forecast in Ukraine is extremely concerning, with the potential for an even graver humanitarian crisis, and our latest allocation reflects our attention to the evolving needs on the ground and our ongoing commitment to provide relief where it is most needed. The North American Jewish community continues to respond in tremendous ways to this crisis, and this collective response is a reflection of our Jewish values that dictate the utmost importance of charity – tzedakah.”

The $7 million JFNA allocation will also help subsidize the costs of Aliyah (immigration to Israel) from Russia.

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