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The Fellowship Helps Ukrainian Refugees Left Behind

The Fellowship’s two recent Freedom Flights brought more than 400 Ukrainian Jews to their new home (and historic homeland) in Israel, and we hope to help many more make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) in the near future. However, there are many members of Ukraine’s Jewish community who remain in the war-torn region. Chabad reports on those left behind, and how The Fellowship is helping them, as well:

The fighting was heavy when Maya and her family fled this summer from Lugansk, Ukraine. When she recently returned after three months in Moscow, her pantry was empty. Hungry neighbors had raided her home, taking any food products they could get their hands on. Canned goods, preserves, tea; all of it was gone. Nothing was spared, not even a few bunches of dill she had been drying to use for seasoning.

“The only thing left in her kitchen were two forks,” recalls Svetlana, a friend of Maya’s who works for the Lugansk Jewish community, and asked that she be identified by a pseudonym due to the volatile situation. “There isn’t marauding yet; they left her other valuables, but what happened to her is not uncommon …

“Right now, there are no trains going into the city,” continues Svetlana, who, in her communal position remains in regular contact with Rabbi Sholom Gopin, the city’s exiled rabbi and Chabad emissary. “They say they might restart them soon, but for now, you have to go to a nearby town and then take a bus in. We’ll see if that changes. All we’ve been hearing and seeing is less and less connection with Ukraine.”

Like other Jewish communities in Ukraine, Lugansk and its residents has been thrown a lifeline by the crucial support of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. From funding Chabad-run refugee camps during the most intense months of war to sending thousands of care packages throughout the battered Donbass region, the International Fellowship has by all accounts been a vital agent of help for the Jews of Ukraine …

As food and produce becomes scarcer, the regular care packages the organization has supplied—among other forms of assistance—through the local Chabad synagogues and centers have become crucial.

Tags: IFCJ , Ukraine

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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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