A Call to Act
August 18, 2014
Dear Friends of The Fellowship,
Ukraine is at war. Train stations have been bombed, there is fighting in the streets, phone lines are down in many areas, and our volunteers are going into the cities at night, at great personal risk, finding those who are trapped and bringing them to safety in a refugee camp. The number of these frightened and displaced Jewish Ukrainians is growing dramatically.
In the past few weeks, as Operation Protective Edge was occupying the attention of Israel and all who care about her, Russians and Ukrainians have been facing off. It may have been out of the news because of other things, but right now there is serious fighting going on every day in some cities, especially Donetsk and Lugansk, both in eastern Ukraine. When I heard that eight people from the Jewish community were killed in this fighting, including a mother and her child who were out on a walk – she was pushing a stroller and a bomb fell nearby and killed them – I knew we had to act.
I went to Ukraine last week to develop evacuation plans which are still in place for 3,000 children in Odessa in case the Russians invade. Refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk started to flee three weeks ago and had no place to go. This is the first time since World War II that there is this large number of Jewish refugees; it’s something we couldn’t have anticipated and people weren’t prepared for.
We had to think quickly. We took a summer camp and turned it into a refugee camp, a place where people can go to escape the fighting. Three hundred and fifty people who escaped Donetsk and Lugansk are now there, and are safe. We are in the process of arranging freedom flights to Israel for them. There will be three chartered flights in September, and all of this is being made possible by our supporters, whose love for the Jewish people and drive to help Jews in need around the world is consistent and unfailing.
If you are looking for an opportunity to do good, and save lives – literally save lives – this is a chance to do so. I pray that in the weeks and months ahead we will be able to rescue all of the Jewish population of Ukraine and bring them to safety.
With prayers for shalom, peace,