With the High Holy Days fast approaching, many Jewish families will look forward to coming together to enjoy a meal. However, for Ukrainian and Polish Jews looking to partake in the festivities, accessing resources may be challenging.
The Chabad of Poland has started preparing for the holidays by producing food packages to help Polish and Ukrainian Jews celebrate. So far, 5,000 meals and food packages have been sold, which is a record for the Chabad.
Much of the growing need is attributed to displaced Ukrainian Jews fleeing the Russian invasion. Since the start of the war, the Chabad of Poland has seen an expenditure rise of more than $2 million, after opening its doors to Ukrainian Jews, offering refuge, transportation, kosher food, medical aid, financial assistance, childcare, educational and social services, communal activities and administrative and legal aid to tens of thousands.
Helping Ukrainian and Polish Jews
Given the growing number of Jews turning to Chabad for their Rosh Hashanah meals, the Chabad of Poland has launched an appeal to fund the needs of the Jewish community there.
The Chabad of Poland requests that anyone interested in supporting their efforts visit www.saveajew.org.
Chabad of Poland has already purchased thousands of apples and jars of honey and is in the process of baking thousands of challot all to be served in Warsaw or distributed in Ukraine. Thousands of servings of chicken, fish, kiddush wine, and other symbolic holiday foods are also on order for the holidays.
“Our sages teach us that on Rosh Hashanah, the heavenly courts sit in review and judgement of our actions the prior year, and through that sets the course for upcoming one," said Chabad of Poland Director Rabbi Sholom Ber Stambler. “From already a month before the ‘hearing’ we self-audit our actions, apologize to G-d through prayer and in-person to those we might have wronged, give more focus to our own religious practice, and give more charity- of time and action. The entire goal of the period leading up to the holiday is to show G-d we want to do better, so that He judges us more favorably, and so that He inscribes us in the book of life, health, wealth and all things good.”
“At the climax of the holiday prayers we cry out ‘that repentance, prayer, and charity hold the key to reversing harsh decrees,” added Chabad of Poland Co-Director Rabbi Mayer Stambler. “For over 18 months since Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, we’ve partnered with Klal Yisrael, as emissaries on the ground in Poland, to help tens of thousands of Jews still in Ukraine and those fleeing. Once again, as the holidays approach, we turn to our partners to help us bring Yom Tov to our brothers and sisters in Poland and Ukraine. Let’s together do for them the charity we hope Hashem will do for us on Rosh Hashanah.”