March 4, 2022
Ukraine Jews are fleeing the country.
12,000 calls were received at the special hotline established together with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), 5,000 of which were from Jews seeking to make Aliyah as soon as possible. Other calls came from concerned relatives in Israel, seeking guidance on how they could help their loved ones in Ukraine. Call centers also inform refugees within Ukraine on how they can receive rescue services from The Jewish Agency, IFCJ, and other local organizations.
The Jewish Agency has 80 workers in the Ukraine and 18 in the neighboring countries (Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary) for ongoing humanitarian and rescue operations. Just yesterday, March 3, a bus of 50 people left Kharkov under heavy shelling to the Polish border. According to intelligence, the Russian army will attack next week Monday and more people are trying to leave before that happens. The Jewish Agency is monitoring the situation closely 24/7.
The current estimate is that 10,000-20,000 (out of 200,000 eligible) Jews will make Aliyah to Israel. At the same time, The Jewish Agency is preparing to support the local Jewish communities the day after.
3,380 beds were rented in hotels and other facilities in neighboring countries along the border to accommodate the thousands of Jews seeking to make Aliyah.
The Jewish Agency is working with different organizations and Israeli government offices, participating in emergency forums, and receiving support such as intelligence and diplomatic passports for its workers in the field.
Meanwhile, 150 community organizations across Ukraine, identified by The Jewish Agency’s Security Assistance Fund, will receive immediate assistance for protection. This budget will be used to implement security measures at Jewish organizations and institutions across the country. The Jewish Agency, through the security fund, is responsible for the security of Jewish communities and is transferring funds to protect Jewish institutions and people behind. As looting happens, those requests are urgent. The Jewish Agency has already processed over a million dollars in grants.
The Jewish Agency provided satellite phones to local Jewish communities so they could stay in contact in case communications infrastructures stop functioning.
The Jewish Agency is also supporting 58 Lone Soldiers and approx. 695 Jewish Agency’s programs participants (originally from Ukraine) in Israel, providing them emotional support.
The Jewish Agency’s ability to help is thanks to more than $15 million raised over the course of one week to support humanitarian and rescue operations along the Ukrainian border, with over $10 million coming from our partners at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Keren Hayesod. The needs of this operation stand at over $21 million and are expected to grow as the situation evolves.
Submitted by Algom Ben-Horin, Regional Programs Director, Western United States, The Jewish Agency for Israel
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