February 28, 2022 (AKRON, OH). Like many in the Greater Akron community, the Jewish community is saddened and distressed by the events that have become reality in the Ukraine and feels a responsibility to step up and help in some way. To that end, the Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA) has approved an emergency, advance allocation of $50,000 from the 2022 Annual Campaign to address Jewish community and other humanitarian needs in Ukraine.
Jewish Akron has joined the Jewish Federations of North America's (JFNA) $20 million emergency campaign to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Jewish populations living in Ukraine. Funds will be allocated through Jewish Federations' overseas partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, The American Jewish Joing Distribution Committee and World ORT, to provide critical help where it is needed most and support to protect and safeguard Ukraine's Jewish community as well as Jews in neighboring countries.
Funds will support urgent necessities of vulnerable Jewish populations, community security, temporary housing for displaced persons, emergency needs in Jewish schools and aliyah-related assistance. In addition to the JFNA network, funds are all being transmitted to IsraAID, a non-governmental humanitarian agency based in Israel and operating on the ground in Ukraine.
"Throughout history, the Jewish community is often caught in the crossfire," according to Thom Mandel, board chair of JCBA. "I'm proud that Jewish Akron has recognized the gravity of the moment. When an emergency erupts, we are positioned to meet the challenges of Jewish people and communities around the world."
There are approximately 200,000 members of Ukraine's Jewish community, including many elderly Holocaust survivors. The community boasts close to 300 Jewish organizations dispersed over some 100 towns and cities. Since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, they have been profoundly affected by political and economic instability, and Jewish Federations together with their partner agencies and organizations like IsraAID have provided ongoing support to this vulnerable population for communal needs, programming, and humanitarian aid - 24 hours a day across 1,000 locations in the country.
"It is a rapidly changing situation, and we recognize that the needs may grow in scope and urgency," said Danial S. Blain, CEO of JCBA. "We are encouraging community members to make a new or additional gift to the 2022 annual campaign, which not only addresses a range of local needs but provides a critical lifeline to help protect and safeguard Jewish communities- including the assistance we can provide to our family in Ukraine. We pray for safety for all, and for a speedy end to the hostilities."
To date, the 2022 annual campaign has raised over $1.2 million. To learn more about how you can help, visit Jewish Akron.