Jewish Federations of North America Continue Massive Efforts to Help Ukrainians in Need
Photos and video courtesy of Jewish Federations of North America
Community Messages from Shalom Austin Board Chair Rick Rosenberg and Shalom Austin CEO Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2020, Jewish Federations of North America, including Shalom Austin, have stepped up to help.
The day following the invasion, Shalom Austin CEO Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus and Shalom Austin Board Chair Rick Rosenberg emailed the community. The email stated that Shalom Austin, along with Jewish Federations, condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and was deeply concerned for the wellbeing of the country’s entire population, including the Jewish community. The email provided ways the community could immediately help, even from as far away as Austin, Texas.
As of May 2022, Federations allocated a combined $48 million, including $25 million collective dollars, to the Ukraine relief effort. Recently, $1.2 million allocation toward Hadassah Medical Organization for medical delegations and trauma units, the Israel Trauma Coalition for trauma relief, and Nefesh B’Nefesh for immigrant absorption.
“When a crisis like this occurs, it is always important to remember that right here in Austin, we are a part of something greater, and have the ability to make a tremendous impact,” said Septimus.
Below are the community messages and resource links which have been sent to the community as of June 16, 2022.
February 25, 2022
Shalom Austin, along with Jewish Federations, condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of the country’s entire population, including the Jewish community.
Our partners at Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) are working to get help to those in need as quickly as possible through partner organizations, The Jewish Agency for Israel, American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (World ORT), which have mobilized their extensive operations on the ground. They are helping the most vulnerable and supporting programming to help younger generations reimagine Jewish life where it was all but destroyed. Learn more about their work in Ukraine, here.
As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, thousands have come under fire in areas across the country. Thousands more have fled the fighting. Federations are planning to allocate millions of dollars to our partner agencies on the ground. Immediate and short-term needs already total about $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
It is because we’re always there, day after day, year after year, that we can deliver hope and help now when it is so desperately needed!
GIVE TODAY to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
March 1, 2022
Six days into the Russian invasion we salute the heroic and tireless efforts of the valiant professionals at The Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, and World ORT and other organizations who are acting as the long arm of Jewish Federations delivering critical assistance to the Jewish community in its hour of need. We invite you to watch this moving video which provides a glimpse into the mood on the ground.
The news from Ukraine remains alarming, with heavy bombardments continuing and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. The situation is constantly evolving and new needs are emerging. For up-to-date information on the war in Ukraine, as well the activities of Federation’s core partners on the ground, we invite you to read today’s update.
Thanks to decades worth of investment in overseas support from Shalom Austin and Jewish Federations across the North American continent, our overseas partners were able to mobilize resources, anticipate and respond quickly to the current crisis. But more support is needed! In an inspiring show of generosity, Jewish Federations have already committed over $7 million since the emergency campaign launched on Friday.
Thank you for all that you are doing and please keep the momentum going toward our goal of $20 million! We call upon our entire community to do our part in contributing to this critical collective effort.
March 7, 2022
As the war in Ukraine rages on and over a million refugees flee the country, Jewish communities are calling on Congress for more assistance on the ground and support for possible refugee resettlement in the U.S.
We are asking for two things:
1. More Assistance on the Ground in Ukraine
The needs continue to grow and emerge. While Jewish Federations’ overseas partners are working tirelessly to provide critical support on the ground and Jewish Federations successfully advocated for Ukrainians in the U.S. to remain, we need Congress to approve supplemental funding for the Ukraine crisis in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
2. Support Refugee Resettlement in the United States
Now is the moment to ensure that the Jewish and other Ukrainians fleeing the Russian attack on Ukraine can find safety, including by resettling in the United States. That is why we need to urge Congress to extend the Lautenberg provision now!
As negotiations quickly advance this week on the spending bill for FY 2022, time is of the essence to urge your Senators and Representatives to support the supplemental funding for the Ukraine crisis requested by the administration and to extend the “Lautenberg Amendment.”
In addition to this government advocacy, Jewish Federations have committed to an initial $20M supplemental campaign to provide extraordinary assistance in this crisis, beyond our annual core support of the Jewish Agency for Israel and JDC that enabled them to respond immediately to this emergency. For more information about the campaign to support Ukrainian Jewry, please click here.
Additional resources to help you stay informed and active:
- Keep informed about Federation-supported work in Ukraine and on its borders by visiting JFNA’s Crisis in Ukraine webpage, and the emergency response webpages of JDC and The Jewish Agency for Israel.
- Join UJA Federation of New York tomorrow, March 8 at 3PM CST to hear updates from the Poland-Ukraine border and a status report on Ukraine’s Jewish community. Register here.
March 27, 2022
We wanted to provide an update on how Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has distributed the nearly $35 million that been collectively raised from Jewish communities across North America. We are proud to share that our Greater Austin community has contributed over $55,000.
When a crisis like this occurs, it is always important to remember that right here in Austin, we are a part of something greater, and have the ability to make a tremendous impact. It is also important to note that our partners on the ground were prepared to respond immediately – this is due to the strong infrastructure that has been strengthened for decades from annual campaigns, just like ours. Thank you for being a loyal Annual Campaign donor.
Please see how JFNA has allocated the dollars, almost immediately, to various priority areas.
The needs continue to grow. If you are inspired to make a gift, please click here.
April 8, 2020
Forty days into the war in Ukraine and Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) are still there, supporting lifesaving work on behalf of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees and internally displaced Ukrainians alike. Learn more about how you can get involved on JFNA’s Ukraine in Crisis dedicated webpage.
JFNA is also offering half-hour webinars twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, to update you on the rapidly evolving situation on the ground. To register for the entire series, click here.
Last week, the Ukraine Allocations Subcommittee met to review and allocate a third round of funds from the $40 million that has been collectively raised in immediate emergency funding over the last month. Please click here to see the latest update on the allocations process and decisions. You can also read about it on a recent JFNA blog post here.
Thank you for your continual support!
May 11, 2022
We wanted to share the below update from Jewish Federations of North America, that highlights our collective Israel & Overseas impact, including the JDC’s 2021 Impact of Federations’ Core Support Report, linked below.
Federations, including Shalom Austin, are continuing massive efforts to help those in need and have now allocated a combined $48 million to the Ukraine relief effort.
It is because of you, we’re always there, through our ongoing support via our Annual Campaign – day after day, year after year, that we can deliver hope and help now when it is so desperately needed!
Happy 74th Birthday Israel!
Last week Israelis and Jews worldwide celebrated the country’s incredible accomplishments over the past seven plus decades. The official opening ceremony of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) honored 12 individuals who made an outstanding contribution to the state. In a newer tradition, one of the 12 torches was lit by a member of Diaspora Jewry. JDC’s Hesed Director in Sumy, Ukraine, Elizaveta Sherstuk, was this year’s chosen representative for her work overseeing the rescue of 250 Ukrainian Jews from the Russian border.
Some 38,000 olim (new immigrants) marked their first Yom Ha’atzmaut as Israeli citizens according to figures released by The Jewish Agency for Israel. This reflects the highest rate of aliyah in two-decades with about half of them making the move due to the war in Ukraine.
For those who remain in Ukraine, Birthright Israel – Taglit embarked on a special partnership with Hillel CASE to assist families in need.
Federations have now allocated a combined $48 million, including $25 million collective dollars, to the Ukraine relief effort. The most recent $1.2 million allocation went toward Hadassah Medical Organization for medical delegations and trauma units, the Israel Trauma Coalition for trauma relief, and Nefesh B’Nefesh for immigrant absorption.
The Impact of Federation’s Investment in JDC
Federation support for JDC through the annual campaign powers a range of vital services and programming that save and improve lives and build flourishing Jewish communities. This same programmatic reach serves as the scaffolding that enables our partners to respond nimbly and effectively during a crisis. See the impact of your collective dollars in Israel and around the world in JDC’s 2021 Impact of Federations’ Core Support Report.
Thank you for your support.
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