Humanitarian aid for Ukraine
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” This comment by famed American television host and author “Mister Rogers” is frequently quoted in the wake of major disasters, natural or man-made. For many, its underlying message is that when tragedy strikes, doing something to assist helps the victims in a practical way and lessens the sense of despondency and impotence that one typically feels when confronted with such events.
The Mister Rogers quote is surfacing once more, now in the context of helping the victims of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Last week, Wendy Kahn, the national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and I met Ukrainian Ambassador Liubov Abravitova to express our community’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people during this time and to offer whatever assistance we can. Should you wish to contribute to the ambassador’s humanitarian fund, the details are as follows: Embassy of Ukraine, FNB, account number 62938629849, Branch Brooklyn, code 251345.
A number of global Jewish bodies, among them the Joint Distribution Committee, World Jewish Congress, IsraAID, the Jewish Agency and Cadena, are now engaged in humanitarian relief efforts on behalf both of Jewish and other Ukrainians. Together, they are assisting displaced persons by providing food, water, shelter and medicine, and arranging transport and resettlement, while also working with agencies on the ground to ensure that critical assistance reaches people of all ages in distress across the region. The board is in the process of collating the relevant information on these and other organisations for those wishing to contribute. For details, see our Facebook page and website (https://www.sajbd.org/).
Jewish Affairs journal
The latest issue of Jewish Affairs, the go-to journal for anyone interested in Jewish history and heritage, in particular relating to our own community, is now out. The journal, which has been produced under the auspices of the SAJBD since 1941, is now published online and is freely accessible at www.jewishaffairs.co.za. In addition to the latest articles, the site provides easy access to all material published since 2009, grouped under categories such as Jewish history – South Africa; Israel and Zionism; antisemitism and the Holocaust; and fiction and poetry. I encourage everyone to visit the site to see the rich diversity of material, historical, cultural and otherwise, that it offers, and to consider signing on (likewise without charge) to the mailing list to receive regular updates.
- Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM, every Friday from 12:00 to 13:00.