Today marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As with all crises around the globe, North American Jewry immediately looked to Jewish Federations to offer their financial support and, collectively, we raised $85 million over this past year for the suffering Ukrainian people. Our funding ensured that:
- 500,000 people received humanitarian assistance, relief or support.
- 700,000 meals were distributed.
- 65,000 people were supported in making Aliyah.
- 130,000 people received medical care.
- 4,000 medical and mental-health professionals were trained.
- 180,000 Ukrainian newcomers were supported by our advocacy.
“Overhead” and “infrastructure” are hated words when discussing non-profits. Donors look for 100% of their charitable gifts to be used to help people. Realistically, however, even the best-intentioned people cannot show up at the beginning of a crisis and have the impact that a Jewish Federation system can have. Raising $85 million requires fundraisers. Hosting events and rallies requires event planners. Processing payments and forwarding them requires bookkeeping. Having boots on the ground 5,000 miles away requires allies and relationships.
Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) CEO, Eric Fingerhut, says, “You don’t build a fire station when there’s a fire.”
So, on today’s anniversary, we’re still helping the Ukrainian people. We continue efforts to build a strong and united Jewish community locally. And, for the past few weeks, we’ve expanded our crisis relief into Turkey, where more than 40,000 people have died and 1.5 million have been left homeless.
This is the work we do together.