The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews continues to provide emergency assistance in Ukraine, helps families seek shelter

March 1, 2022

JERUSALEM As the war in Ukraine intensifies, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) remains in close contact with their staff and volunteers on the ground. The Fellowship’s team continues to work around the clock to ensure Jewish communities across Ukraine have the emergency essentials they need. They are also helping families evacuate their homes, providing them with shelter from missile attacks, and getting them to safety across the border in neighboring countries.

Valeria Kolchic, who works at the Fellowship office in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, has kept The Fellowship up to date on the situation there. “I do not have a shelter in the building,” Valeria said Sunday. “Every time I hear a siren, I run to hide at the nearest subway station.” She added that there have been “air strike attacks and shooting in the streets around us. No electricity, no internet. I am afraid of what’s going to happen next.”

At a Jewish shelter near Kyiv, another Fellowship team member joined a large room packed full of families waiting to be told what to do next. To lift their spirits, they began singing Psalm 133, “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together,” and a post-Shabbat prayer called the ‘Havdalah.’ The Fellowship sponsors this shelter.

Jahana and Alexei, along with their three children, are a family from Zytomyir who are fleeing to the Karpaty region. “We’ve been living in fear for three days,” Alexei told The Fellowship over the weekend. “Enemy planes circle over the city and we occasionally hear explosions. We turned our home’s warehouse into a shelter to protect ourselves from the bombings. Today we heard about the possibility of evacuating from the city and we went straight to the synagogue. We want to get to a safe place where our children will not be in danger. The Fellowship and the Jewish community are the only ones who have helped us all these days. We received moral support that strengthened us greatly and helped overcome fear. The possibility of evacuation is a miracle that could save our lives.”

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can, with every dollar we can, for every family we can,” said Fellowship president and CEO Yael Eckstein. “As the people of Ukraine battle for their freedom and pray for peace, we at The Fellowship promise to do everything possible to keep them safe as they face an uncertain future.”

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