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Care During Crisis in Ukraine
March 7, 2014
Dear Friend of Israel,
Washington is known as one of the world’s centers of power and influence. But, as sometimes happens, this week events in Washington took a back seat to events happening half a world away. And so it was that, after addressing the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way to confront a deepening crisis – a crisis taking place in Ukraine, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has asserted his control over the country by invading the Crimean peninsula.
You’ve undoubtedly seen the pictures on the news – fighting in the streets, burned-out buildings, Ukrainian and Russian troops facing off against each other. In the midst of this civil unrest is Ukraine’s Jewish community. This chaos has brought to the fore the ages-old anti-Semitic hatred that has always been apparent in this part of the world.
We’ve been contacted by Jewish leaders from around Ukraine who have told us just how desperate the situation there has become. Many Jewish schools, orphanages, and other institutions are on lockdown, with Jews afraid even to walk outside for fear of becoming victims of anti-Semitic attacks. The Fellowship has responded quickly by giving more than $3 million to fund security and emergency assistance for Jewish institutions across the region, as well as funding emergency support for aliyah (immigration to Israel). We must – and we will – ensure that people in harm’s way don’t fall prey to the chaos and violence against Jews that have been a fixture of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union since Tsarist days.
In emergency situations such as this I am so grateful that our donors – Christians in the U.S. and around the world – are quick to show their deep love for the Jewish people both in prayer and also materially, by providing financial assistance to help Jews in crisis. It is their steadfast partnership that allows us to respond immediately in times of crisis, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, and to protect those victimized by hateful anti-Semitism.
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has played his hand – and right now it looks like there is little the world can do to stop him. But we can do everything possible to help those in harm’s way. Today, I ask you to pray that some measure of peace and stability will return to Ukraine and that our efforts to provide the Jewish community with safety and security will be successful. Thank you, my friends, for your support of Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
With prayers for shalom, peace,