As Rabbi Eckstein's trip to Ukraine showed last week, the needs of that country's Jewish community are greater than ever - despite the media's inattention to their plight. The Jerusalem Post's Sam Sokol reports on what IFCJ is doing to help those who are still suffering greatly:
According to Vishedski, around 200 families in Kiev look to him for assistance and are regularly involved with his center, run out of a small, sky-blue stone building, only blocks away from the synagogue of Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich.
“I want a day to come when they don’t need my help,” says Vishedski. But, in the meantime, he organizes regular aid in the form of rent money, food packages and clothing.
“It’s very hard to find work. People turn to us and we worry for them. For the majority of families, it continues to be a struggle. The economy isn’t good, businesses are closing and don’t want to hire people. People don’t know what they will do tomorrow.”
Much of the funding for the rehabilitation for his community comes from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, he says, referring to a Jerusalem-based charitable organization that raises money largely from Christian donors in the United States and which has become heavily involved in issues relating to Ukrainian Jewry.