The welfare of the many refugees who have fled the cities of Lugansk and Donentsk to Kharkov, Ukraine due to unrest in the region was of great concern to three members of the Israeli Knesset, who arrived Thursday in Kharkov with a delegation.
Knesset members Zeev Elkin (Likud Chair, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee), Alex Miller (Yisrael Beitenu) and Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beitenu, Chair, Lobby for Financial Education in Israel) met with leaders of the Jewish community and representatives of the Jewish Agency and local Jewish schools to discuss the current situation in Ukraine and how to help absorb the hundreds of Jewish refugees.
During the meeting, each organization explained how they are working to help the refugees who are now essentially homeless.
Kharkov Shliach Rabbi Moishe Moskovitz explained that since the synagogue is the Jewish center of the city – most of these Jewish refugees make their first stop in the synagogue. Therefore, the community needs help to give vital immediate assistance to these families – food, clothing and shelter.
Currently all the Jewish community’s dormitories are filled with families, many with young children, and Chabad is providing meals to these refugees.
“The Knesset members were impressed with what has been done until now, and also gave encouragement for creating a viable solution for this large-scale humanitarian crisis,” Rabbi Moskovitz told COLlive.
Moskovitz stressed the urgency of establishing an emergency fund to help respond to the needy and a system to ensure that all the Jewish refugees in Kharkov know that they can turn to the Jewish community for help.