Israeli and Jewish organisations across the world rally in support of Ukraine’s Jews

February 27, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israeli and Jewish organizations from around the world have dispatched teams and aid to Ukraine and the countries surrounding it to assist the Israelis trapped in the country and help Jews who wish to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) following the Russian invasion of the country.

United Hatzalah’s humanitarian aid misison to Ukraine. (United Hatzalah)

The first group of United Hatzalah’s humanitarian aid mission to Ukraine departed Israel Saturday night and will establish itself on the Ukrainian border with Moldova to provide medical and psychological treatment as well as humanitarian aid to refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

The jump team, which is comprised of 12 EMTs, paramedics, doctors, a dentist, and members of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, will be tasked with providing initial aid, assessing needs, and building a comprehensive long-term treatment plan. In Moldova, they will be met with additional team members joining from Miami, Florida.

In the coming days, an additional team comprised of 30 medical personnel will be joining the jump team. The delegation was formed at the request of the Chief Rabbi of Moldova, Rabbi Pinchas Salzman, and in coordination with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The volunteers are equipped with medical and humanitarian supplies and will be tasked with providing assistance to those crossing the border from Ukraine into Moldova,” said the Vice President of Operations Dov Maisel.  “The delegation is joined by a representative from Sheba Beyond, and program from Sheba (Tel Hashomer) Hospital who will assist with the installation and operation of remote medical equipment that will enable doctors from Israel to train and assist medical practitioners in the field at the border.”

Leader of the delegation EMT David Krispel said that “due to air space closures, we are flying first to Romania, and from there we will be traveling by land to Kishinev in Moldova. There we will connect representatives of the Jewish community, and Israeli representatives from the Foreign Ministry, and together we will build a refined strategy for the mission.”

A representative from “Sheba Beyond”, the virtual hospital of Sheba Medical Center will be taking part in the humanitarian aid mission. The program will be sending advanced technological equipment that will be used to set up a remote medicines station. With the help of these measures, doctors from a variety of areas of expertise in Sheba Medical Center will be able to assist medically, and remotely perform procedures in real-time together with the teams in the field. The equipment sent to the relief area includes devices for remote physical examination, devices for remote cardiac monitoring, and the remote monitoring of vital signs. Among them are a portable ultrasound device and a device for performing a remote blood test.

“We have the ability to provide remote assistance and use advanced technologies to bring the high quality of Sheba medical care to areas that are also experiencing medical crises,” said Dr. Galia Barkai, director of the Sheba Beyond program. “The advanced equipment in the field will be connected online to Sheba’s computers so that we can guide, advise, and help the delegation’s staff in providing expert medical care in the field.”

Sarit Lerner, the director of technology at the virtual hospital, Sheba’s representative on the delegation, shared that “as soon as the delegation crystallized, it was clear to us that we could help and be a complementary factor. I have no fear of what we face. I see the trip as a true representation of us all, we have a responsibility to utilize the information and capabilities that we possess in order to help others in need and provide humanitarian assistance to our fellow people anywhere in the world.”

The Jewish Agency for Israel announced that it opened six Aliyah (immigration to Israel) processing stations at Ukrainian border crossings with four countries: Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary. These stations, operated in conjunction with Nativ and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are meant to immediately assist the expected waves of immigration due to the war in Ukraine. The Jewish Agency is also standing by to immediately increase these stations, as needed.

Since the start of the war, The Jewish Agency had been operating from a central Aliyah station in Lviv. This was the departure point of the first group of Olim who crossed into Poland over the weekend with the help of Jewish Agency Shlichim (Israeli emissaries).

Following the decision by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to extract its officials from Ukraine to Poland, The Jewish Agency also moved its Shlichim to the Polish side of the border. From there, they will cross the border into Ukraine every day, together with Israel’s diplomatic teams to continue assisting Ukrainian Jews who want to immigrate to Israel, in accordance with eligibility for Aliyah granted by Nativ.

The Jewish Agency is also preparing to temporarily house Olim in hotels in the countries bordering Ukraine, with support from The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Keren Hayesod, and other donors from around the world.

The Jewish Agency works in coordination with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, who will assist with flights to Israel, and with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, who will assist with Aliyah and provide temporary housing in Israel.

In “a complex Jewish Agency operation, and after a nerve-wracking 16-hour process, “the first group of Olim from Ukraine crossed into Poland on Saturday. The immigrants are being housed in a hotel near Warsaw where they will remain until they are flown to Israel. Upon arrival in Israel, the Olim will receive temporary housing, with help from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.

UJA-Federation of New York approved up to $3 million in emergency funding to support the Jewish community of Ukraine. These funds will be used by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) the Jewish Agency (JAFI), and other grassroots partners to provide for the safety and well-being of the approximately 200,000 Jews living today in Ukraine.

The Inbar and Marius Nacht Family Foundation announced financial support to assist Moldova’s Jewish Community in absorbing hundreds of Jews fleeing from Ukraine. Hundreds of Jewish families have started pouring in from Ukraine, where they were welcomed and cared for by members of the Moldovan Jewish community. The refugees and their children are being housed in motels and provided with hot food and essential supplies.

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