Page 6 - The Jewish Voice - September '23
P. 6

Page 6, The Jewish Voice

                                                    LocaL happenings

      Observations from a                                 since the start of the war, the
                                                           In  the  eighteen  months
      Leadership Mission to Ukraine                     needs continue to accelerate
                                                        significantly.  More  than
      By Susan Shulman Pertnoy                          70  percent  of  Ukraine’s
      and Michael Hoffman                               infrastructure  has  been
         It’s been nearly 18 months                     destroyed. There is concern
      since Russia’s invasion of                        over  how  Ukrainians  will
      Ukraine. While the news stories                   stay warm during its harsh
      might largely make it feel like                   winter when there is limited
      a distant memory here in the                      electricity. They are facing
      United States, the reality on                     inflation  over  40  percent
      the ground is much different.                     and  most  are  making  the
      Through your support, Jewish                      difficult choice between food
      Federation of Palm Beach                          and medicine, with a rising
      County continues to stand in                      concern of getting sustenance
      solidarity and provide funding  Michael Hoffman and Susan   to certain areas of the country
      for the most critical resources  Shulman Pertnoy   where the war rages. Every
      to the people of Ukraine –                        night you hear the loud air raid
      including the 200,000 Jewish Ukrainians impacted by this  siren signaling an incoming
      crisis.                                           missile  attack  somewhere
         In August, community leader Susan Shulman Pertnoy,  in  the  country.  We  too
      chair of Federation’s Board of Directors, joined with Michael  experienced this in a midnight
      Hoffman, president and CEO, on a leadership mission to  evacuation where we spent
      Ukraine, led by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).  several hours in a shelter at
         Below is a special guest column for the readers of The  our hotel.
      Jewish Voice, with stories and observations about what they     Of  the  200,000  Jews  in
      witnessed and how our community has stepped forward to  Ukraine, more than 55,000
      make a difference.                                have made aliyah (emigrated
         In August, we went on an intense four-day leadership  to Israel) to escape the conflict.
      mission to Ukraine organized by Jewish Federations of  The remaining Jews are displaced persons with harrowing
      North America. Our purpose on this mission was to assess  stories. Seniors and Holocaust survivors too frail to leave
      the ongoing needs on the ground of this war-torn country,  their homes. Women and children who are alone while their
      witness firsthand the lifesaving work taking place on behalf  husbands, brothers, and sons fight on the front lines.
      of the Jewish Federation system, and most importantly to  Meet Nadia, a Holocaust Survivor
      express our solidarity with the Jewish community that lives     While visiting a JDC Hesed social service and community
      in the midst of danger every day.                 center, we met Nadia, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor.
         On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, which  Nadia has in essence been running for her entire life, having
      resulted  in  the  largest  humanitarian  crisis  in  Europe  first evacuated from her home in Eastern Ukraine during
      since  WWII.  In  the  ensuing  months,  our  community  WWII; settled in Crimea, which was invaded by Russia in
      came  together  to  provide  vital  resources  and  support,  2014; and has been living in Western Ukraine ever since.
      which enabled our partners at the American Jewish Joint  Nadia has no family living in Ukraine, as her children left the
      Distribution  Committee (JDC)  and The Jewish Agency  country years ago and she is dependent upon the JDC Hesed
      for Israel to meet the emergency needs of hundreds of  to provide her with the most vital human services like food,
      thousands of Ukrainians.                          medical support, and socialization.               The Positive Impact of Jewish Camps
                                                        Lydia and Igor: In Search of a Better Tomorrow for Their     We met with a group of children and teens while visiting
             Southern Exposure Technologies             Children                                          a Jewish Agency summer camp. Between COVID and the
                                                           We met Lydia and Igor while visiting an aliyah seminar  war, these teens have faced dramatic disruption in their
           Computer Install/Setup/Repair                  sponsored  by  the  Jewish Agency  for  Israel. They  are  lives including inconsistent and limited schooling. These
                     (561) 315-0144                     considering moving to Israel for several reasons. They have  camps serve as a wonderful respite from the struggle of

                      the desire to live free of conflict and without the worry of how  daily living in a humanitarian crisis and provide some hope
                                                        long it will take for Ukraine to recover after the war. They’d  for a normal future.
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                            * Networking, Troubleshooting  also like to be closer to relatives and for their two children
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