Update From JFS Executive Director 3.27.22

March 27, 2022

How To Help Jews in Ukraine

Steve Schauder, Executive Director, Jewish Family Service

Like you, I have been captivated by the horrific images emerging from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Families fleeing for their lives with only one bulging suitcase while innocent civilians are killed in the streets is almost too painful to watch. Watching Europe aflame and seeing violence against ordinary citizens is both terrifying and tragically familiar to members of the Jewish community.

JFS has received many calls from concerned community members asking us if JFS has any plans to accept refugees from Ukraine. JFS had joined our Jewish Federation and other partner agencies in reaching out to the Biden Administration to ask that the United States begin admitting pending Lautenberg and visa applicants so they can wait in the US in safety and we were very pleased to see President Biden announcing that the United States is prepared to accept up to 125,000 Ukrainian refugees in the coming year.

As JFS have taken on Afghan refugee resettlement over the past five months, we are exploring what steps would need to be in place for our agency to accept Ukrainian refugees. We will keep the community informed of any new developments that we hear.

There are important ways you can help:

  1. Donate- There is a need for critically-important food, medicine, homecare, and other emergency support to all of the people of Ukraine, including Jewish seniors and families sheltering in place in Ukraine. You can give through Jewish Federations or through JFS’ Resettlement Partner, HIAS.

    2. Stay informed- You can stay updated to learn about the HIAS response in Ukraine by visiting the HIAS website.

As I write this, the holiday of Purim will begin in a few hours. Purim teaches us that fortunes can turn in a moment, but justice and righteousness will always prevail. I know you join me in wishing a speedy resolution to this crisis and a peaceful outcome to the conflict.

Steven Schauder
Executive Director
Jewish Family Service of Greater Harrisburg

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