Ukrainian refugees celebrate personal exodus during Passover

The Jewish Agency's main Passover Seder took place at the Jewish emergency center in Warsaw, Poland, while another one took place in Budapest for thousands of Jewish refugees from Ukraine.

 Ukrainian Jews celebrating the Passover Seder in a Jewish Agency aid center in Budapest, Hungary.  (photo credit: MAXIM DINSTEIN/JEWISH AGENCY )
Ukrainian Jews celebrating the Passover Seder in a Jewish Agency aid center in Budapest, Hungary.
(photo credit: MAXIM DINSTEIN/JEWISH AGENCY )

Seder events were held at the Jewish Agency’s aid centers in the countries bordering Ukraine. Seder events were held for hundreds of Jews who were rescued from the inferno and will immigrate to Israel in the coming days.

The Jewish Agency’s main Passover Seder took place at the Jewish emergency center in Warsaw, Poland, with the participation of hundreds of Jews rescued from the war zones, led by the agency’s Deputy Director of Aliyah and Integration Shai Felber, who came especially from Israel with his family to celebrate the Seder night with families rescued from the inferno. Among the participants in the many Seder night events were Jews that came from the battle zones of Mariupol and Bucha. The Jews who have been staying at the aid centers – mainly hotels in the countries bordering Ukraine – are expected to immigrate to Israel as early as next week.

Another Seder took place at the aid and emergency center in Bucharest, Romania. A special Seder was held for about 100 Jews rescued from the cities of Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv in Ukraine. Before the Seder night event, the film Prince of Egypt was screened for the children. Afterward, adults participated in a trivia quiz and the children in special activities created especially for them.

In Hungary, too, a Seder was held at the Jewish Agency’s emergency center in Budapest. Sabina Matatov, an Israeli emissary in Hungary, opened the traditional Seder and congratulated the participants. She said that “This is my first holiday without my family and outside of Israel, but I am sure it will be the most exciting holiday I will have. Thank you.”

Hours before Passover eve began, a bus with tens of Jews rescued from Ukraine arrived at the Jewish Agency’s aid center in Hungary. Most were able to participate in the Passover Seder after a long journey – and thanked God for the miracle they have personally experienced.

The Seder night events at the Jewish Agency’s aid centers took place with the assistance of a donation from the Jewish Federation of New York and Jewish Funders Network.

 Ukrainian Jews celebrating the Passover Seder in a Jewish Agency aid center in Budapest, Hungary. (credit: MAXIM DINSTEIN/JEWISH AGENCY ) Ukrainian Jews celebrating the Passover Seder in a Jewish Agency aid center in Budapest, Hungary. (credit: MAXIM DINSTEIN/JEWISH AGENCY )

The Jewish Agency is located in Ukraine and neighboring countries with about 100 emissaries, workers and volunteers who assist in the rescue operations of Ukrainian Jews and their absorption in the emergency centers in the countries bordering Ukraine, where they take care of all their needs until they immigrate to Israel.

From the outbreak of the war until now, about 13,000 Jews from Ukraine and the region have immigrated to Israel.

 Ukrainian Jews celebrating the Passover Seder in a Jewish Agency aid center in Budapest, Hungary. (credit: MAXIM DINSTEIN/JEWISH AGENCY ) Ukrainian Jews celebrating the Passover Seder in a Jewish Agency aid center in Budapest, Hungary. (credit: MAXIM DINSTEIN/JEWISH AGENCY )