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Israeli Delegation Lands in Ukraine to Aid Jews in Distress

View article on Israel Hayom.

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein: Jewish organizations are using up their budgets on security, we are providing food, clothing, and heat to the needy and helping move refugees out of eastern Ukraine.

An International Fellowship of Christians and Jews delegation landed in Ukraine on Wednesday evening to visit Jewish communities in the conflict zone there and to provide aid to poverty-stricken Jews living in Ukraine.

The delegation members visited Jewish charity institutions, such as a food bank run by the Joint Distribution Center.

IFCJ President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said, "When the Ukrainian revolution began, many people lost their jobs. The government stopped old-age stipends or cut them back, and the Jewish institutions have been forced to use most of their budgets for security following anti-Semitic incidents and incitement."

"As soon as the riots broke out, I came to Ukraine and started working to help Jews who had fallen on hard times. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews allocated a special budget of NIS 20 million [$5.1 million] to help provide food, clothing, and heating for needy Jews. Later on, we started helping to get the refugees out of eastern Ukraine and place them in camps in the western part of the country," Eckstein said.

Alexander Klass, a Jewish man in his 20s from Lugansk who came to Kiev from one of the combat zones and is spending the Sabbath with other Jewish refugees, said that "my life and my family's weren't easy when there was peace, and now, in a time of war, life has become insufferable. Now you just have to try to survive."

"I really love my parents and always tried to help them as much as I could. I have a serious illness, so I couldn't immigrate to Israel with my parents before this. Now, the insufferable conditions in Ukraine are making me think about moving to Israel," he said.

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

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