Join JFNA every Monday & Thursday at 4:30pm ET for 30-minute briefings on the latest developments around the Ukraine Crisis.
These briefings, open to all, will address humanitarian relief and resettlement efforts.
Last month, Jewish Federations mobilized 376 national and local faith organizations to urge the Biden Administration to expedite admissions for Ukrainians with close family ties in the U.S. so they may wait here in safety, along with their families. The Administration responded to our call and President Biden announced that the U.S. would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians. We eagerly await more details on when the refugees will arrive and what admissions pathways they will take so that we can properly plan for their resettlement. Among these refugees, there are 17,000 Lautenberg applicants of many faiths whose U.S. family members have applied for them to be admitted to the U.S., yet they have waited for months in Ukraine and now in eastern Europe as their cases are processed.
We urge the Administration to:
- Expedite admissions for Ukrainians with close family ties in the U.S. so they can wait here in safety.
- Share details about timing and admission pathways for the 100,000 refugees the President announced and most crucially, launch the admissions process
- Prioritize using the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, rather than humanitarian parole, so that admitted Ukrainians are eligible for all of the benefits entitled to refugees.
To take action and share with your community, use this link: jfeds.org/ActionAlertUkraineApril
For more information on our work in Ukraine, click here.
Click here to read the latest Ukraine Crisis Update.
For more on how you can get involved in support of Ukraine, click here.
- NJHSA members have shared Ukraine resources. We are establishing a dedicated page on the NJHSA website with these resources.
- Join us to discuss how the crisis in Ukraine has impacted you and your work. Thursday, March 10th 3:00-4:30pm EST. Register here.
- Would you be interested in opportunity or a Special Briefing Call for NJHSA members with HIAS? If so, please follow this link to a survey monkey poll by noon tomorrow. Your responses will be shared with our colleagues at HIAS and we will arrange a call for those who are interested in this opportunity.
- Stay tuned, the NJHSA website will continue to be updated with resources as the situation evolves
- NJHSA encourages you to bookmark and frequently check back to this HIAS webpage. HIAS is making real-time updates. Ukraine response page on our website. Also found on their site: this FAQ document has a wealth of information in it for Ukrainians inside the country and who have fled to surrounding countries, on advocacy, on resettlement, etc. It is also hyperlinked from the page above and frequently updated.
- HIAS is also sponsoring public briefings: https://www.hias.org/events/humanitarian-response-ukraine-update-call. The next one is this Wednesday at 3pm EST.
- We need Congress to approve supplemental funding for the Ukraine crisis and extend the Lautenberg Amendment in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which is being negotiated early this week. Send your community here to take action: jfeds.org/actionforukraine
- Background: Over thirty years ago, the North American Jewish community stood with Senator Lautenberg when he passed landmark legislation that allowed 400,000 Jews and others fleeing religious persecution in the Soviet Union to reunite with families 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.
- Inside Ukraine: https://help.unhcr.org/ukraine/ and the IDP hotline 0-800-307-711
- In Hungary: https://help.unhcr.org/hungary/
- In Poland: https://help.unhcr.org/poland/ and the Polish government website for Ukrainians: https://www.gov.pl/web/udsc/ukraina-en (to be scrolled down for additional languages and government hotline number: +48477217575)
- In Moldova: For Moldova, there is the generic protection email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone number (+373 22 271 853) for UNHCR. HELP page will be online asap. There is also a government hotline for Ukrainians refugees (‘the green line’) newly established in Moldova: 0 8000 1527.
- In Romania: https://help.unhcr.org/romania/ and the website of our partner, the Romanian National Council for Refugees: https://www.cnrr.ro/index.php/ro/
- In Slovakia: https://help.unhcr.org/slovakia/
- For Ukrainian Jews, JDC has launched a centralized Hesed hotline in Israel with Russian-
As we have all been disturbed by the troubling events unfolding around Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, I wanted to share that our colleagues at HIAS are working through channels within the US and throughout Europe to support the safe and speedy resettlement of those seeking to leave the Ukraine. In the coming days, our Network will undoubtedly be asked to support not only those of Ukrainian descent that are living in North America or Israel, who have serious concerns about the safety of their loved ones who remain in the Ukraine, but we may also be asked to facilitate resettlement services for those fleeing the war zone.
Additionally, you may be aware that Ukraine is home to one of the world’s largest Jewish communities with estimates of up to 200,000 Jews concentrated in the country’s four largest cities and spread across dozens of smaller cities and towns in every corner of the country. There is an established network of Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) throughout the Ukraine, many that provide a full range of social services and emergency assistance support for vulnerable members of the local Jewish community. These JCCs were established in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, largely under the auspices of one of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (the JDC), which provides ongoing guidance, coordination and support to these agencies. Today, the JDC, is working through its teams on the ground, to provide every possible support and assistance to those in need.
As is the case with most critical emergencies, the most pressing need is for immediate financial support.
A detailed summary of the current needs is available here.
To provide help today, we are asking you to share the following with your agency Boards, your staff and your communities:
- Encourage contributions to the emergency fundraising effort of the JDC, a member agency of NJHSA which focuses solely on humanitarian aid and building Jewish life. Substantial resources will be required, and contributions can be made directly or via your local Jewish Federation.
- Send notes of support and friendship to our colleagues in the Ukraine. Because of the sensitivities around communications during wartime, these notes should be sent to general inboxes at partner JCCs that are located throughout the Ukraine.
We are remaining in close contact with our colleagues at HIAS and at the JDC and will continue to update you as events unfold.
Thank you for sharing these resources with your colleagues locally and with your communities and for keeping those in harm’s way in your thoughts and prayers.