NEW YORK– As the second anniversary of the Ukraine conflict approaches, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is providing ongoing, life-saving care to more than 41,000 Jews in Ukraine – the elderly, poor, displaced, and newly impoverished – and urging the increased attention to a humanitarian crisis made worse by ongoing attacks and widespread economic decline. JDC’s relief efforts, reaching 1,000 beleaguered locations across the country, are a continued source for basic and emergency essentials – food, medicine, water, homecare, and housing – as well as expanded trauma relief services and new employment training and educational support for children. Together with local Jewish communities, JDC is also providing varying support to 13,000+ Ukrainian Jewish refugees in Europe.

“Even as we address multiple global crises, including the ongoing war in Israel, we remain laser focused on the dire humanitarian situation in Ukraine. These needs are all the more painful with widespread trauma, spiking unemployment, and serious gaps in children’s education,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang. “I am proud of all the people we have helped in the past two years, but our work is nowhere near complete. We’re working tirelessly to safeguard and strengthen Ukrainian Jews and Jewish communities today, instilling resilience and hope for coming generations. We urge others to do all they can to help and make that strong future a reality.”

The conflict in Ukraine has not only affected access to basic necessities, but also negatively impacted the country’s economy, job market, and educational system. The Jewish community is also impacted by these trends and JDC is now:

  • Expanding its network of Trauma Support Centers across Ukraine to provide counseling and assistance to community members coping with trauma and other emotional challenges. With eight centers now operating around the country, more than 1,600 people have been provided much-needed mental health services.
  • Organizing online and offline educational opportunities for Jewish children, often based in local JCCs, including tutoring in critical subject areas and soft skills like strengthening social connections. This is needed because of long periods of school closures during this conflict and previously during the pandemic.
  • Delivering financial and employment assistance to community members devastated by skyrocketing inflation and diminished job opportunities, especially middle-aged people who are newly unemployed. This assistance includes access to online remote and freelance work, as well as skill training.

JDC’s crisis response work – including delivering life-saving heating and winter supplies to 29,000 Jewish community members in Ukraine – is carried out by its network of Hesed social service centers, Jewish community centers, and thousands of staff and volunteers who continue to aid the most vulnerable at great risk to themselves. This effort is made possible by generous support provided by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and local Jewish Federations, the Claims Conference, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, individuals, families, foundations and corporations.

The majority of Ukraine’s vibrant, pre-conflict 200,000-person Jewish community has remained in the country throughout the crisis, with many returning after fleeing to neighboring countries. JDC, which has worked in Ukraine and across the former Soviet Union since the 1990s, cares for tens of thousands of needy Jews, builds Jewish community life, and trains new generations of Jewish leaders.

JDC’s two-year aid snapshot-to-date includes:

  • Delivering 800+ tons of humanitarian aid including food, medicine, soap, and other crucial supplies.
  • Providing more than 40,000 refugees in Europe with vital necessities, like food, medicine, accommodation and psychosocial aid as they crossed from Ukraine into Romania, Moldova, Poland, and Hungary.
  • Evacuating 13,000+ Jews fleeing towns and cities under fire, including 167 Holocaust survivors in rescue operations that included relatives.
  • Providing nonsectarian medical aid and psychosocial support to more than 30,000 Ukrainian refugees and support to medical facilities in Ukraine, including the distribution of telemedicine devices, training in their use, and critically needed wheelchairs and crutches.
  • Fielding over 67,600 calls from our hotlines and call centers.
  • Engaging more than 3,000 local Jewish community volunteers to participate in projects aiding 36,000 people in Ukraine.
  • Providing 50,000 boxes of matzah to community members and hosting Passover seders for 10,000+ people in Ukraine in 2023 alone.