4/8/22: Shabbat Shalom From Interim Executive Director Nora Gorenstein

Supporting Ukraine through Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and global partners!

Dear Friends,

Our work and response to the crisis in Ukraine continues, as Jewish Federations across North America stand together to help those in need. Our Western Massachusetts community continues to play a vital role, and the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts is honored to partner with so many of you who have contributed to our crisis relief efforts. The following updates illustrate the breadth and depth of our collective impact:

Responding to Crisis:
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Ukraine Allocations Subcommittee met last week to allocate a third round of funds from the $40M that Federations have raised over the last month for humanitarian relief, assistance to those making Aliyah, and other emergency needs. We can take action now: read more in this Action Alert to urge the Biden Administration to expedite reunification with their families in the U.S.

Educating U.S. Officials:
On Tuesday, JFNA helped arrange a briefing for a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional task force on the status of Ukrainian Jews and on the role of antisemitism in the war in Ukraine. Jewish agencies briefed the elected officials on what is being done to guarantee the safety both of Jews who have remained in Ukraine and also of those who have fled during the conflict. They then discussed the response of Jewish aid organizations to the broader refugee and displacement crisis. Panelists included executives from JFNA, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ), the Jewish Agency, and the JDC.

Staying Informed:
Yesterday’s Ukraine webinar from JFNA featured Dr. Rami Sagi from Israel’s new field hospital in Ukraine, along with Asaf Segev from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Click here for the recording. And please click here to register for the twice-weekly, half-hour series, which takes place every Monday and Thursday at 4:30 pm ET.

Passing the Pray Safe Act:
The Senate passed the vital Pray Safe Act this week. Jewish Federations had lobbied for passage of this bill, which was sponsored by Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). It will establish a federal clearinghouse to provide information to faith-based organizations on best practices in safety and security, on available federal grant programs, and on security training opportunities. For more information about the bill, click here.

Impact Reporting from the Jewish Agency:
Federation support for The Jewish Agency through our Annual Campaign powers a range of vital services and programming that save and improve lives and build flourishing Jewish communities.  This same programmatic reach serves as the scaffolding that enables our partners to respond nimbly and effectively during a crisis, such as the one that is happening right now in Ukraine. See the impact of your dollars in Israel and around the world in this Jewish Agency Report.

With gratitude for your partnership in our vital work,
Shabbat shalom,

Nora Gorenstein
Interim Executive Director