Israel’s Aliyah and social organizations are laying the groundwork for thousands of Jewish refugees. They are anticipated to land in Israel and make Aliyah after escaping war-torn Ukraine over the next few weeks.
Jewish refugees from Ukraine are opting to settle in Israel, where organizations are readying to ensure a smooth landing. One of those organizations is Colel Chabad, now preparing to provide food and other basic staples upon arrival.
Established in 1788, Colel Chabad is Israel’s longest-running social services organization, providing welfare services and other support services; the organization can rely on the international Chabad network and boasts the reputation of being active in Ukraine.
“Our team in Israel is in regular contact with our emissaries across the war-ravaged region to help us identify those making the journey and make sure they know that they have a response in place as soon as they arrive in Israel,” said Rabbi Mendy Blau, Israel Director of Colel Chabad.
The Israeli Chabad representatives are in contact with their Ukrainian counterparts located in several communities to verify their immediate needs.
According to estimates, more than 4,000 refugees will need immediate aid in the next two weeks. However, that number could increase without notice.
“These are not people who had any advance notice that they were about to lose everything they had ever known, and tragically, most of them had to leave their husbands and fathers behind to fight,” Rabbi Blau noted. All men aged 18-60 must serve in the Ukrainian army.
The immediate objective of the campaign includes absorbing 130 orphans from the town of Zhytomyr, who are being sent to Israel for their safety. Aside from ensuring adequate clothing and supplies, Colel Chabad will provide three square meals a day for all refugees.
“Since the end of World War II, we have not seen such a painful crisis where large numbers of Jewish families are being torn apart and running for their lives,” Rabbi Sholom Duchman, Director of Colel Chabad, said. “The blessing is that Israel is here and the Jewish world is an altogether different place so that we can give these children and adults the assurance that they are being cared for and will get what they need.”