The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Effort in Ukraine
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its President & CEO Rabbi Noah Farkas are responding to the needs of the Jewish community in Ukraine. Rabbi Farkas, along with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Federation Campaign Chair Lynn Bider recently led a humanitarian relief trip to Poland and the Ukrainian border. The trip allowed Rabbi Farkas to aid and meet with both refugees and other support organizations to make sure that the response efforts are providing direct relief to those who need it the most. As Rabbi Farkas states: “The Federation is deeply committed to being a part of the global Jewish response to this crisis. It’s imperative that we see what is happening in person on the ground so we can provide emotional and spiritual support and ensure the money we are raising is properly supporting our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We are guided by the wisdom in our Talmud, ‘Whoever saves a single life, is considered to have saved the whole world.’”
Before the invasion, there were around 200,000 members of Ukraine’s Jewish community, counting around 40,000 who are impoverished including 10,000 Holocaust survivors. Prior to the Holocaust, Odessa had the third largest Jewish population in the world. For perspective The American Jewish Year Book 2021 lists Los Angeles fifth in the world of Jewish populations in metropolitan areas. And according to the American Community Survey, California’s Ukrainian community is the largest in the country 100% of all funds raised by The Jewish Federation go to relief efforts for the work being done in collaboration with our partners the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel. Specifically, funds are providing urgent humanitarian aid and financial assistance to poor Jewish elderly and families, delivering food, medicine, winter relief and emergency assistance, dispatching mobile medical units to get supplies where they are needed most, transporting people out of the conflict areas, ensuring that the homebound have their needs met through four field offices (Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkov, and Odessa), and bolstering security at Jewish institutions including JCCs in Kharkov, Odessa, Dnipro, Kyiv, Zaporozhe, and Lvov.
The Federation is also referring anyone who needs assistance in Ukraine, or who is looking for information about making aliyah, to the Jewish Agency for Israel that has opened a tollfree hotline for Ukranian Jews. From Ukraine, the number is 0800504603. As a result of this work, hundreds of Jews from Ukraine and Russia have already safely arrived in Israel. To donate to the Jewish Federation of Great Los Angeles Ukraine Relief Fund, go to jewishla.org/4Ukraine