As I settle into my role as the new CEO of the Jewish Federation, I assure you that this isn’t what I would have chosen to be my first Shabbat message to the community.
Like me, I know you are closely monitoring Russia’s recent invasion into Ukraine. While this aggression has many implications for us all as Americans, it also carries some additional weight for us as Jews. There are an estimated 200,000 Jews living in the Ukraine who are being directly threatened, and there are additionally hundreds of thousands of Jews in Russia who are also now indirectly vulnerable.
We have valued members of our Indianapolis Jewish community who are refugees from the Ukraine and the Former Soviet Union, many of whom were resettled here by Federation and JFS programs of the 1990s. I also know that some of you have family and friends who are caught in this conflict. My heart breaks for those affected in our community and overseas by this tragic event. Please know that we are here to help. This is the work we do- helping Jews in need, especially in times of crisis.
To that end, Jewish Federations across the country are urgently coming together to raise millions of dollars to support our partner agencies on the ground. Current estimates of the immediate and short-term needs are already approaching $16 million.
Emergency funding will focus on:
- Helping people make Aliyah to Israel
- Securing the local community and its institutions
- Maintaining critical welfare services
- Assisting internally displaced people in multiple locations
- Launching an emergency hotline
- Securing temporary housing for people in transit
- Purchasing satellite phones to maintain communications across the region
- Securing five Jewish schools and training staff to manage crisis needs
All work is being coordinated in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, and World ORT. It is only because we are always there, day after day, year after year, that we can deliver hope and help now when it is so desperately needed!
Please give TODAY at https://jewishfederations.org/crisis-in-ukraine2022
As we enter Shabbat, I know we will together reflect upon this crisis and what it means to repair the world and help those in need.
Wishing you and our brethren around the world a Shabbat Shalom,
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis