As the world marks the first anniversary of the Russian incursion into Ukraine and the reverberations the war has caused throughout civilization, Chabad of Poland is launching an emergency campaign to feed nearly 9,000 Ukrainian Jews during Passover.

The fundraising initiative seeks to raise nearly $500,000 to support holiday expenses for Ukraine’s Jewish communities and their refugees in Poland. Funds will be used for sending out seder kits to families unable to attend communal meals; hosting communal seder meals in various locations in Poland and Ukraine; and providing food and accommodation for those families in greater need during the holiday.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Chabad of Poland has helped thousands of Jewish Ukrainian refugees resettle in Poland or by serving as a religious waypoint for those resettling in Israel and other nations. Throughout their time in Poland, locally based Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries have provided shelter, food and religious services to those in need.

Rabbi Mayer Stambler. Courtesy: Chabad of Poland.

“Passover is widely celebrated by Jews of all backgrounds. But it is an expensive holiday because of the special types of food that week. The cost of celebrating Passover for an average family is high, but for refugees, it is almost impossible for them to shoulder those expenses without our help,” explained Rabbi Mayer Stambler, co-director of Chabad of Poland.

“Last year at the start of the war in Ukraine, we saw an influx in the number of Ukrainian Jews who relied on us for refuge from the war and those from abroad who opened their hearts to support these victims of the conflict,” he said. “But as the war still wages, there is still a great need to support these families to assure that we can provide them with as much of a positive holiday experience as possible.”

Passover begins at sundown on April 5 and celebrates the exodus of ancient Jews from Egypt, a transition from slavery to freedom. Celebrated annually, the holiday starts with two Seder nights recounting the story of the miracles of the exodus and runs eight days during which Jewish tradition dictates a special diet excluding leavened products and legumes.

For more information and to participate in the campaign, visit: www.saveajew.org.

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