On the Ground in Eastern Ukraine
Though fighting has halted for the moment, the human cost of the fighting in Ukraine has been catastrophic:
- More than 1 million people have fled their homes, with 633,000 living as displaced persons in Ukraine and 600,000 living outside Ukraine, mainly in Russia.
- 5.2 million Ukrainians live in conflict-affected areas.
- 1.4 million are considered highly vulnerable and in need of assistance.
At the forefront of efforts to bring vital resources to Ukraine's Jews are brave people from Federation’s global partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
Because of your generosity to Federation's Annual Campaign, their efforts continue to protect Jewish people and foster connections to Jewish life:
- JAFI’s offices in war-torn eastern Ukraine remain open and continue to provide services.
- After heavy shelling in January, JAFI intensified the evacuation of Jews from several towns. Hundreds of Jews are being housed in JAFI's refugee center while they await making Aliyah (immigrating to Israel).
- JDC and its network of 32 Hesed social welfare centers have worked day and night to serve more than 4,600 Jews in the eastern conflict zone and more than 2,500 displaced Jews who fled to other cities.
- JAFI’s Mayak Refugee Center continues to provide shelter to people from regions of fighting who are in the process of making Aliyah.
- JDC personnel are delivering food, medicine, homecare, stipends for new accommodation, post-trauma care, and vitally important winter fuel, bedding, and clothing.
- People are being treated for severe psychological trauma at JAFI's refugee center.
- Despite reported escalation of anti-Semitism, interest in the study of Hebrew continues to grow in eastern Ukraine. JAFI is currently operating 18 Hebrew classes in the region.