Jewish-American org. invests millions in Russian Aliyah to Israel

Since the beginning of the war, 52,500 new immigrants have arrived in Israel from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus with the aid of Jewish Federations’ partner, The Jewish Agency for Israel.

 Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022. (photo credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO)
Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022.
(photo credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO)

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has raised $3 million for a package to support the high costs of aliyah (immigration) to Israel from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, the organization announced.

Since the beginning of the war, 52,500 new immigrants have arrived in Israel from these countries with the aid of JFNA’s partner, The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Responding to widespread power outages and preparing for what is projected to be a worsening humanitarian crisis this winter in Ukraine, JFNA is allocating $4m. for Ukraine, focusing on emergency winter relief.

Relief efforts will provide urgent support to over 22,000 Ukrainian Jews through the federations’ core partner, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), as well as to additional NGOs that are supporting refugees.

The funds will be used for purchasing and distributing warm blankets and clothing, portable heaters and cooking stoves, nonperishable food, flashlights and other emergency items, and provisions for warming centers and hot meals.

 Ukrainian fleeing war zones in  Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Palanca Moldova, on  March 3, 2022. (credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90) Ukrainian fleeing war zones in Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Palanca Moldova, on March 3, 2022. (credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)

JFNA advocating expansion of refugee resettlement in US

In addition to providing humanitarian aid for refugees, JFNA has successfully advocated expansion of refugee resettlement in the US, operating a $1m. Ukrainian Resettlement Grant Initiative with matching funds from the Shapiro Foundation.

“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 providing relief where it is most needed,” according to JFNA president & CEO Eric Fingerhut.

“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.”