As war erupts between Russia and Ukraine, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is already providing emergency assistance

February 24, 2022

JERUSALEM Just weeks ago, president and CEO Yael Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) made a visit to Ukraine to inspect the organization’s plans for immediate response should tensions between Russia and Ukraine erupt into all-out war. The Fellowship has spent the last several days meeting with numerous partners that they have worked with for decades, visiting food storage and distribution centers, and sitting with those teams ready to help those forced to stay or in harm’s way. The Fellowship ensured preparations for a terrible day like today, when the drumbeats of war have degraded into missiles flying, and the possibility of countless people dying.

Last weekend, The Fellowship welcomed a regular flight from Ukraine, which gathered international media attention, because the flight arrived at a time when war seemed increasingly inevitable between the two nations. On that flight alone there were dozens of Ukrainians, including those from Donetsk, and parents with young children.

“Our mission is very simple: to save Jewish lives. We have been working in Ukraine every day for 30 years, and now our friends there desperately need our help,” said Fellowship president and CEO Yael Eckstein. “We know this country, and we know those who are in need. They’re not numbers to us – they’re our neighbors. And we are prepared to do our part to help those who need it the most, and who need it now.

“We’ve already been in the process of evacuating children from schools in Eastern Ukraine. We’ve already provided food and various other forms of assistance to those who are in harm’s way. But there’s much, much more work to do. We’re on the front lines doing the work.

“Pray for God to send a miracle of peace to calm the stormy seas. But, as Jews are fond of remembering: while we believe in miracles, we never rely on them. In fact, now we are relying on you, as God has led us to help others threatened by bombs and rocket fire.”

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