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2022 Avior Ukraine – update March 22 – TOI

Rescue Campaign Update (March 21, 2022):

We celebrated Purim in Odessa while under fire. There were sirens blaring and missiles falling while we read the Megillah. The situation has become even more scary and difficult.

We can not leave until the last Jew is rescued! We need your help!

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Our children should have been playing this Purim, not bombarded by Russian missiles.

Dear friends, brothers, and sisters!

I am Rabbi Avraham Wolf, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Odessa and Southern Ukraine, and I’m writing to you with a broken heart.

For over 20 days, we have been under siege under fire, non-stop shelling, and victims of indiscriminate firing upon hospitals and innocent children.

There are tens of thousands of dead and wounded victims. The situation here is painful and indescribable.

I was left here in Odessa with a few heroes who aren’t ready to give up on any Jew that didn’t manage to escape. We will not abandon them!

We will stay here and not leave until the last Jew is rescued with G-d’s help!

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Nearly 2 million people in Ukraine have already lost their homes. The lives of millions more have changed beyond recognition following the Russian invasion. We, the Jewish community of Odessa and the surrounding areas, have never imagined in our wildest dreams that such a war would occur and that we would fall into it, unable to live and unable to leave.

We feel and see death before our eyes every day. We live frozen in fear, with sirens and explosions erupting night and day, surrounded by destruction and devastation.

Our Jewish community in Odessa boasts about 35,000 people. Anyone who could have escaped has already done so. More than half of our community are now refugees. Only those who are unable to leave remain. This includes the sick, the elderly, people who cannot travel, and devoted relatives unwilling to abandon their loved ones. Even people who want and can leave can not always escape. Roads are blocked. Men who reach the border are not allowed to cross with their families.

The city of Odessa is under total siege. Yet, we continue to transport hundreds of families from our community across the Moldovan border close to us. This includes refugee families who managed to escape from Kyiv and other cities, thanks to the heroic efforts of our volunteers and dedicated staff.

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Because of the ban on 18-60-year-old men from leaving Ukraine, we are forced to use all sorts of covert means to evacuate them as well and not cut them off from their families and small children! It costs us a lot of money!!

We have so far managed to evacuate 120 children from our orphanage. But there are still 80 orphans left who we have not yet been able to rescue and are in danger of death at any moment.

The lucky ones who managed to escape war-torn Ukraine are now refugees. Homeless children and parents whose only home and security have been taken from them. Thousands of people have lost their property and possessions and suddenly became homeless!

They were left only with the clothes on their backs which barely withstand the freezing temperatures on the streets of Ukraine. They sleep in refugee camps inside tents with no heating and no money to their name!

How much longer must they suffer? We have to make arrangements for them and make sure they have the minimum required to recover and survive.

And what about those who are still left behind? Among them are about 100 elderly Holocaust survivors in nursing homes in our community who live again through bombings and destruction, food shortages, and hunger. They lack basic supplies. How can we just let them relive those days of horror?

We can not leave those who rely on us. Either way, we need to stay alive. Our supplies are running low. Soon we will no longer have the most basic food items – flour and water.

We need a miracle. We are praying to G-d!

We need your help to survive.

We are committed to helping the Jews left behind!

We will not leave Ukraine until the last Jew leaves this place!

Please help us!!

Donate here

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