JFNA raises $50 million for aid to Ukraine

The money will go to housing, clothing, cash assistance, medical attention, mental health services, life-saving rescue operations, security, and transportation to refugees.

 Svetlana Niselevitch receives a haggadah for Passover from a JDC staff member outside her home in Odessa, Ukraine, April 8, 2022.  (photo credit: JDC)
Svetlana Niselevitch receives a haggadah for Passover from a JDC staff member outside her home in Odessa, Ukraine, April 8, 2022.
(photo credit: JDC)

WASHINGTON – The Jewish Federations of North America have raised $50 million for aid to Ukraine, the organization announced on Monday, with funds allocated to 35 NGOs that are operating on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

According to the organization, the money is used for housing, clothing, monetary assistance, medical attention, mental health services, life-saving rescue operations, security, and transportation to refugees, including those who are making aliyah.

Over 34,000 people have been served through the JDC, “including 2,415 people who have received medical assistance, and 12,276 people have been evacuated to other countries,” said JFNA. They also set up 11 emergency hotlines, and 18 facilities have been operated at five border crossings.

“Jewish Federations are unique in the key role we are playing, both in providing tremendous amounts of aid to refugees as well as advocating for refugee resettlement,” said Federations President and CEO Eric Fingerhut. ”This crisis will unfold in ways that nobody can predict, but what is sure is that Jewish Federations will continue to play a frontline role in the response and long-term strategy development in order to alleviate suffering and help refugees rebuild their lives.”

Last Friday, thousands of Ukrainian Jewish refugees celebrated Passover Seders with the help of Federation funds. The Jewish Agency hosted Seders in Warsaw, Budapest and Romania with Ukrainian Jewish refugees, as well as Seders in Israel with new Ukrainian olim. The JDC hosted a total of nine Seders in Moldova, Hungary and Poland, JFNA noted. JDC also organized more than 15 online Seders for Jews in Ukraine who were unable to leave their homes.

 People walk near buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 18, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO) People walk near buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 18, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

In partnership with the Jewish Federations, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library and Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Ministry, thousands of special Haggadot in Russian and Hebrew were sent to JDC and the Jewish Agency for use at the Seders.

The organization also created a central volunteer hub to recruit and place hundreds of skilled volunteers over the coming months to provide services on the ground. Over 30 of these volunteers have already been deployed to Budapest, Warsaw and the Poland-Ukraine border.