My colleague Ofer Glanz reports ...
" With increasing unrest and violence in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, I want to brief you on our continuing emergency efforts in those areas of the country. Rest assured that our remarkable colleagues — from JDC staff to Hesed employees to homecare workers — are tirelessly working around the clock to ensure the well-being of our clients and Jewish communities where they live and work.
During this critical time, we have:
- activated our emergency contact system, communicating with clients on a 24-hour basis to assess their needs and address them immediately;
- established situation rooms around the country that are regularly reporting in on changes on the ground;
- constantly adjusted our contingency plans to reflect these changes.
Above all, we are providing stepped-up support with extra food, medicine, homecare, and counseling, just as we have done since this crisis began.
In Odessa — which is the site of ongoing violence and 46 deaths last week — our Hesed social welfare center cares for approximately 7,000 Jews (out of the city’s 40,000 person Jewish population). Services for the elderly and poor have continued uninterrupted during this chaotic time. For other JDC-supported Jewish institutions and programs around the city — including the flagship Beit Grand JCC and our Metsudsa young leadership training program — some workshops and classes have been cancelled for security concerns.
In Eastern Ukraine — where continued unrest and fear have gripped the local population — JDC serves more than 6,000 Jews in the cities of Donetsk, Lugansk, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk. Our staff in these cities continue to provide increased services and support, constantly adjusting to an ever-changing and concerning situation. "