The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is grateful for the extraordinary support of our Jewish community during the crisis in Ukraine. As of April 8, our Emergency Response campaign focused on Ukraine has surpassed $1 million, which aids in providing critical humanitarian work on the ground.
President and CEO Michael Balaban and Co-Chair Gail Norry recently traveled to the Poland-Ukraine border with a small delegation of 30 leaders from Jewish Federations across the nation. While there, they met and helped Ukrainian refugees, gaining firsthand knowledge of the situation on the ground.
“The scope of the refugee crisis is immense,” Balaban reflected. “But one that we cannot and will not turn away from.”
Our community is not alone. To date, Jewish Federations across the nation have raised $43.4 million, $40 million of which has been allocated to 35 NGOs operating in Ukraine and bordering countries to support refugees and Jewish communities in their time of need.
These funds are saving thousands of lives:
- 12,100 refugees fed and housed
- 7,000 refugees received on-the-ground support in Ukraine
- 5,500+ Jewish Ukrainian refugees arrived in Israel
- 7,800 beds rented
- 55,000+ answered calls through various hotlines
- Served as the lifeline for 18,000 Jewish elderly and 2,500 poor Jewish children
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and individual Federations have directed funds to partner agencies such as The Jewish Agency for Israel, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and World ORT. As this crisis continues, the Federation system has now grown to also fund the following organizations and their programs:
- The Emergency Volunteer Project: Uses its fleet of mobile kitchens to deliver hot meals to Ukrainian refugees hosted by Israeli families. Meals are prepared and delivered by Israeli and American volunteers.
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS): Working through its partner organization in Ukraine, Right to Protect, HIAS focuses on serving the most vulnerable Ukrainian refugees. It provides training and technical support, and cash assistance for accommodation, transportation, and the purchase of basic needs.
- Hillel International: Hosts and provides support to Ukrainian Hillel students and other Jewish refugees in the Hillel Centers in surrounding countries.
- The Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC): Uses its extensive global experience to train Jewish and non-Jewish personnel in Ukraine and the surrounding countries on how to assist those affected by the conflict, many of whom are suffering from severe psychological trauma. ITC also provides direct care to Ukrainian olim and the families of Ukrainians living in Israel.
- JCC Krakow: Helps thousands of Ukrainian refugees by providing housing and daycare, collecting and distributing humanitarian supplies and medicines in Poland and Ukraine, helping evacuate refugees and arranging transport onwards, and facilitating psychological support.
- The Jewish Community of Vienna: Has established an initial refugee reception center to provide temporary housing and other services. It also offers long-term housing, food, financial assistance, and medical and psychological care for Jewish refugees.
- Nefesh B’Nefesh: In partnership with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Nefesh B’Nefesh provides tailored support to lone Ukrainian soldiers serving in the IDF and supporting the families of lone Ukrainian soldiers who make Aliyah.
- Project Kesher: Leverages its decades of work in Ukraine to facilitate the evacuation of Ukrainian women and children and help them receive support in host communities. Project Kesher alumni provide country-appropriate advice and micro-grants to the most vulnerable.
- Shma Yisrael: Arranges transportation and safe housing away from the conflict for students of the three Ukrainian schools in the Shma Yisrael school system.
- United Hatzalah: Provides emergency medical services and other relief to refugees as they cross out of Ukraine and into Moldova.
Accrued funds have also led to creating a volunteer hub to develop and place skilled volunteers in the coming months, providing critical services on the ground through partner organizations.
With our community’s support, and with every dollar raised, we mobilize humanitarian aid at a time most crucial – a time when it’s a matter of saving lives.