Yad L’Achim Absorbs 320 Ukrainian Refugee Families

May 28, 2022
Helping an immigrant put on Tefillin.

As the world marks three months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, efforts continue in Israel to absorb Jewish war refugees, both spiritually and materially.

These efforts began two months ago, when news got out that missionaries had converged along the Moldova-Ukraine border to take advantage of the distress of Jews who were running for their lives. Yad L’Achim immediately dispatched its people to the site to counter the missionaries and assist the refugees. This week, the organization reported that its campaign at the border has, so far, succeeded in saving 320 families, numbering 729 souls, from the missionaries.

Once in Israel, the immigrants are absorbed by a special division set up by Yad L’Achim with financial backing from the Committee to Save Ukrainian Jewry set up by Satmar Chassidus in Kiryas Yoel. Members of the division, new immigrants themselves, reach out to the refugees with all kinds of assistance.

This includes rental subsidies, food baskets, help in finding work, contacting the various municipal absorption departments, assistance in navigating the bureaucracy, and, most importantly, spiritual absorption. It starts with registering children in Torah schools that teach in Russian, enriching every home with Jewish reading material in Russian and installing kosher mezuzos on every door.
In addition to the standard activities offered year round, Yad L’Achim organizes special events for the chagim. On Pesach, it held two public seders, one in Ashdod, which drew 240 immigrants, and the other, in Kiryat Yam, in the north, which attracted 80. During Chol Hamoed a recreational “happening” was held for the children.

Plans are being finalized for special programs for Shavuos.

Yad L’Achim salutes the generous help of Harav Shimon Shisha, who heads the Committee to Save Ukrainian Jewry spearheaded by Satmar Chassidus, and Rav Yechiel Weingarten, the deputy mayor of Ashdod, who works day and night to help absorb these immigrants.

A Yad L’Achim staffer helps a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant affix a mezuzah to his door.