JFNA announces $1 million initiative to support Ukrainian refugees in US

Jewish Federations have collectively raised $72 million for humanitarian aid since the fighting broke out in Ukraine.

 Refugees from Ukraine wait to board a bus to Warsaw after crossing the border from Ukraine to Poland, fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at border checkpoint in Kroscienko, Poland, March 17, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)
Refugees from Ukraine wait to board a bus to Warsaw after crossing the border from Ukraine to Poland, fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at border checkpoint in Kroscienko, Poland, March 17, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)

WASHINGTON - The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) launched on Wednesday a $1 million initiative, the Ukrainian Resettlement Grant Initiative, to support refugees seeking safety in the US.

"Jewish Federations of North America will provide local Federations with matching grants provided by a group of philanthropists led by the Shapiro Foundation and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, to build capacity within social service organizations to support Ukrainians refugees in their communities,” said Elana Broitman, SVP of Public Affairs at Jewish Federations of North America.

“Grants of approximately $1 million will be distributed, and the first grants have already been awarded to six Federations: Jewish Federation of Buffalo, Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, UJA Federation of Greenwich, Jewish Federation of Delaware, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and Greater Miami Jewish Federation,” she said. 

“Together with our generous partners, Jewish Federations and partner agencies are able to take our understanding of the refugee experience along with our long history of refugee resettlement, to support displaced Ukrainians in our own communities," Broitman said.

In addition to resettlement efforts and advocacy, Jewish Federations have collectively raised $72 million for humanitarian aid since the fighting broke out in Ukraine.

 Israelis protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Israelis protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

“The Jewish people have been refugees in so many countries, yet we have been blessed with freedom and protection in the United States,” said Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America. “Supporting refugees and vulnerable populations is a Jewish value and we see it as both our duty and privilege to lend a hand to our neighbors in need, regardless of their faith or background.”

Jewish Federations of North America partnered with the Shapiro Foundation earlier this year to help communities in their efforts to resettle Afghan refugees, based on this same model of volunteer circles, the organization said. The initiative supported Afghan resettlement in 15 communities across 12 states. “The US is expected to absorb 180,000 refugees from Ukraine, including some who were temporarily in the country before the war broke out.”