Israel sending NIS 10 million in aid to Ukraine’s Jewish community

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

The synagogue of Kremenchuk in Ukraine. (Foundation for Jewish Heritage/The Center for Jewish Art)
The synagogue of Kremenchuk in Ukraine. (Foundation for Jewish Heritage/The Center for Jewish Art)

Israel will send NIS 10 million ($3.07 million) in aid to Ukraine’s Jewish community immediately as Russia’s military offensive against the country intensifies, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry says.

“This decision comes from the unique mandate of the State of Israel, and in particular, its Diaspora Ministry, as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to support Jewish individuals and communities in harm’s way,” the ministry says. “It’s become quite clear at this stage that both immediate and ongoing support are needed.”

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai announced plans to send aid to the Ukrainian Jewish community yesterday, but it was initially believed that it would take several days before the matter could be brought before the government for a vote. It is not immediately clear why the proposal went through faster than expected.

The ministry says the aid will come in four main forms: food and medicine; funding for security guards around Jewish centers to protect them from rioting and looting; helping refugees in widescale evacuations; and transporting people to safer areas.

“We are following developments in the area with great concern. Our hearts are with the Jewish people of Ukraine,” Shai says. “We will continue to closely monitor the needs and developments in the field, and respond accordingly.”

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