The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh wired $25,000 to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to provide immediate assistance to the Ukrainian Jewish community. This represents even more than requested by JFNA and becomes part of North American Jewry’s response to urgent needs, supplemental to the Federation’s annual overseas funding.
Local Jewish leadership has been closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and receiving ongoing briefings, through JFNA, from professionals on the ground in the affected area. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), both funded through the Pittsburgh Federation’s annual campaign, have intensified their service efforts in light of emergency needs.
The Ukrainian Jewish community of approximately 300,000 comprises many frail elderly, including Holocaust survivors, who depend upon JDC and JAFI for food, health care and other critical assistance. With many of them living near the site of the greatest unrest, they fear for their personal safety and have remained indoors, making it far more complicated to get them the services they need.
While the entire Ukraine is impacted by the military invasion, devaluation of currency and other developments, the Ukrainian Jewish community is concerned about the potential for acts of anti-Semitism.
“Exorbitant amounts are being spent now on security for Jewish institutions,” said Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Federation, in a prepared statement.
“And, with some of the most important JAFI and JDC work in the former Soviet Union revolving around revitalizing Jewish life, it is incredibly sad that Jews of all ages are frightened to come out to the synagogues and community centers and draw emotional support from one another.”
Contact Sue Linzer, Federation associate director of planning/director of overseas operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-992-5239 for more information about the situation in Ukraine and services being provided.