"Communities do not wait until there is a fire to build a fire department, and the Jewish people do not wait until there is an emergency to create an effective system of rescue and humanitarian aid. The skill and expertise we have been witnessing in the relief efforts in Ukraine and in the bordering countries is the result of years of experience, training, relationship building, and fundraising."
Eric D. Fingerhut
President and Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Federations of North America
Because we have been there from day one, supporting the essential organizations of Jewish relief and rescue – the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT – year in and year out for nearly a century, we were there when the crisis in Ukraine started.
Today, some 200,000 Jews remain in Ukraine, although some estimate the number to be as high as 300,000. The country boasts close to 300 Jewish organizations in some 100 towns and cities. The Jewish population is mainly concentrated in Kiev (110,000), Odessa and Dnepro (60,000 each) and Kharkov (50,000). Smaller numbers of Jews also live in many other towns. The majority of Jews in modern Ukraine are native Russian and Ukrainian speakers, and only some of the elderly citizens speak Yiddish as their mother tongue.
Since the fall of Communism, a renaissance of Jewish life, supported significantly by your Annual Campaign support, has taken place for those Jews who remained in Ukraine, and Jewish communities in many cities and towns have been reconstituted. Ukraine today has about 75 Jewish schools in some 45 cities, among them 15 day schools and 80 Sunday schools, 11 kindergartens, 8 yeshivas, and some 70 Hebrew-language ulpanim.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, Jews and Jewish organizations from outside Ukraine were able once again to reestablish formal connections and presence in the country and Jewish Federation partners the Jewish Agency, JDC, ORT, Chabad, and others today have significant local operations supporting a range of communal needs and programming.
Ukraine’s Jewry along with the rest of the country’s population is currently in danger of losing their homes, their businesses, and most importantly their lives.
Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters are counting on all of us.
If you would like to mail a check to the Federation, please mail it to: P.O. Box 17128Richmond, VA 23226