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How to Help Ukraine

All of us I'm sure are concerned for the welfare of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. The question is what can we do to help them?

From Rabbi Landau's Living Jewish in SF blog post on Wednesday, May 11: 

On Sunday, I’m flying to Poland on a Rabbinic Chessed Mission for Ukrainian refugees, sponsored by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). We’ll be going to the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing at Medyka and to several refugee centers. I intend to give a full report about the trip during Shabbat morning services on May 21st. 

Since we are coming to help, the Chief Rabbi of Poland, R. Michael Schudrich, asked for our assistance in obtaining medical supplies and medications for the refugees, as well as religious articles such as: talitot, tefillin, mezuzot, etc. After inviting our community to assist in funding the purchase of these items, fifty families have already raised over $11,000. If you too would like to help, please text or email me how much you would like to contribute, the shul will immediately “front” the funds and you can send the money to the shul.  

From Rabbi Landau's Living Jewish in SF blog post on Thursday, April 14:

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has been working on a campaign prohibiting the State of California from investing in Russia and Belarus. SB 1328 would prohibit the boards of specified state and local public retirement systems from investing public employee retirement funds in a company with business operations in Russia or Belarus or a company that supplies military equipment to Russia or Belarus. Only by prohibiting public investment in Russia and Belarus can California take a principled and moral stance against the invasion of Ukraine. Please click here to add your name to this effort. 

In an email message from Rabbi Landau on Friday, February 25:

All of us I'm sure are concerned for the welfare of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. The question is what can we do to help them?

The Jewish answer is three things: Prayer, Tzedaka, and Mitzvot. But which prayers, tzedaka org., and mitzvot?

In my opinion, based on research that I've done, the answers are:

  1. Psalm 130, followed by the Acheinu prayer below
  2. The best place to send tzedaka is
  3. When it comes to mitzvot, choose any of the 613 commandments that you typically don't observe (if you need help, just ask me). 

The positive energy and resources generated by these actions have the ability to both help and protect our fellow Jews who are in danger.

Salvation Prayer:

“Acheinu kol Bais Yisrael – Our brethren, the entire Jewish People”

“Hanesunim bitzara u’bishivya – who are delivered into confinement and captivity”

“Ha’omdim bein bayam u’vein bayabasha – whether they be on the sea or dry land”

“HaMakom yiracheim aleihem viyotzi’eim mitzara li’rvacha – May the Omnipresent have mercy on them and remove them from distress to relief”

“U’mei’afela li’ora – and from darkness to light”

“U’mishibud lig’ula – and from subjugation to redemption”

“Hashta b’agala u’viz’man kariv – now, speedily, and close at hand”

And let us say amen.

From Rabbi Landau's Living Jewish in SF blog post dated March 3:

On Wednesday, at the end of a Hebrew-language post to his Facebook page, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Jewish people around the world to speak up as he accused Russia of seeking to “erase” Ukrainians, their country and their history. “I am now addressing all the Jews of the world. Don’t you see what is happening? That is why it is very important that millions of Jews around the world not remain silent right now... Nazism is born in silence. So, shout about killings of civilians. Shout about the murders of Ukrainians.” 

OK, so what do we do? Well, in addition to the three measures I suggested in last Friday’s email, here’s the contact info for the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. . It also might be a good idea to contact our congressional representatives to demand that the U.S. do even more than it’s all ready doing.