By Reporter staff
The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton has opened a Ukraine Emergency Fund with monies going to the Jewish Federations of North America to help meet immediate needs in Ukraine and surrounding countries. The fund will be open through Friday, April 15. There are two ways to donate: visit www.jfgb.org/ and click on “Crisis in Ukraine.” (This leads to the JFNA website, where donations may be made by credit card. For Binghamton to receive credit for a donation, click on “Network” under “Community” and then type in Binghamton in the space below.) Those preferring to write a check should make it out to the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton, write “Ukraine” on the memo line and mail the check to the Federation at 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal, NY 13850.
“Helping Ukraine through this crisis is of vital importance,” said Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation. “I’m horrified by the invasion of that country and feel we need to help those in Ukraine and the refugees in surrounding areas. We held a peace vigil on March 9, but these donations will have a practical, on-the-ground effect.
“To assure our community members that their donations will be put to optimal use, I contacted JFNA to find out how our funds will be used,” Hubal said. “They assured me that 100 percent of the donation will be used to help those in Ukraine. Or, as the e-mail said, ‘No funds received are deducted for overhead. What comes in, goes out.’”
JFNA notes that the funds will be used to:
- Provide housing, clothing, medication, cash assistance, mental health services, security and transportation for refugees fleeing the war and those seeking to make aliyah.
- Ensure the secure evacuation of affected individuals from areas under immediate threat or where active hostilities are already taking place.
- Expedite the rapid aliyah of those individuals or families who wish to move to Israel and facilitate their absorption on arrival. (See related article on page 12.)
- Provide trauma-focused therapy and emotional first-aid training for those helping refugees outside of Ukraine, as well as mental health professionals treating patients inside of Ukraine.
- Support delegations of medical professionals on the ground in Poland and Moldova to treat incoming refugees.
In an e-mail dated March 13, Edward Finkel, the regional director who serves JFNA Network communities, including the Binghamton Federation, noted, “In less than three weeks, the Jewish Federations of North America has raised some $25 million for Ukrainian relief efforts. That money has already been allocated by JFNA’s special Allocations Committee to Ukrainian relief efforts being undertaken by the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT, as well as United Hatzalah, Hillel International, Nefesh B’Nefesh, HIAS, Israel Trauma Coalition, Hadassah Medical Organization, Chabad and Shma Yisrael.”
He added, “At the end of last week, JFNA CEO Eric Fingerhut accompanied Ukrainian refugees on a flight from Warsaw to Israel as they began a new life in their new homes. At the same time, Federation leaders met at the U.S. Capitol to ask members of Congress to support extraordinary aide to Ukraine and to open the doors of the country to immigrants seeking safety and freedom. A JFNA Solidarity Mission to the Poland/Ukraine border leaving today [March 13] will meet with refugees, governmental leaders and our global partners on the ground who are providing tremendous humanitarian aid.”