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How to Respond to War for Ukraine

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the incomparable nineteenth century Hasidic rabbi who lived and taught in what is now Ukraine, once said, “The whole world is a narrow bridge, but the essence is not to be afraid.”

These days the world appears even more narrow. We are afraid. We watch in horror as ordinary Ukrainians fight battle hardened Russian soldiers. We worry about Vladimir Putin’s designs. We fear about the emerging humanitarian crisis.

If you would like to support efforts to alleviate this crisis, I recommend the following:

UJA-Federation of New York
“In light of the escalation of violence, UJA-Federation of New York has approved up to $3 million in emergency funding to support the Jewish community of Ukraine. To date, $1.375 million has been allocated to our primary overseas partners — the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) — who have the capacity, experience, and reach to provide for the safety and well-being of the Jewish community — as well as to smaller grassroots partners who also have ties to individuals in dire need. We expect additional needs and requests to emerge in the days and weeks ahead.”

World Union for Progressive Judaism
“In the light of the recent conflict on the Ukrainian border, the World Union for Progressive Judaism launches the Ukraine Crisis Fund. We ask people from all over the world to make donations towards the support of the Jewish community in Ukraine. Money will be spent on individuals and communities to ensure their safety and well-being. If the conflict escalates further, your money will become crucial and necessary help for many people. If the tension eases, the fund will be spent on the development of the progressive Jewish community in Ukraine.”

World Central Kitchen
“On February 24, Russia launched a large-scale attack on neighboring Ukraine, invading the country on several fronts. As a result, thousands of Ukrainian families are fleeing their homes in search of safety. Working at a 24-hour pedestrian border crossing in southern Poland, WCK began serving hot, nourishing meals on Friday evening. In addition to providing meals for families in Poland, WCK has a team on their way to Romania to support Ukrainians arriving there. As the situation continues to evolve, WCK remains ready to expand our support for families in need.”

Even though we can, and must, do more than just pray, we pray for a speedy and peaceful resolution to this war.

Rebbe Nachman prays:
"God of unfathomable goodness,
the history of human agony
haunts my soul;
ashes, blood, and cries
pierce my heart;
diabolic schemes of oppressors
plague my mind.
Grant me an extra measure of
and faith
to help me find You—
to discover Your Light
midst the blinding dread,
through the revolting horror."

Amen!  And we pray that we might help to bring a measure of compassion and healing to this human suffering.