On the 24th of February 2022, Russia began a military invasion of Ukraine, in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict that had begun in 2014. It is the largest military conflict in Europe since World War.
B’nai B’rith Europe has one of its most active Lodges in Ukraine (Kyiv, Lviv). The Brothers and Sisters of this victim country need all the help that they can get.
A support action has been launched by B’nai B’rith Europe that allowed to create a support fund that is available to the members of the lodges in Ukraine. The funds are being used to help the members who are currently in Ukraine (for the purchase of medicine, food and other necessities) and for the ones that are escaping (travel costs, a place to live, food and medical care abroad).
Many of B’nai B’rith Europe’s Lodges have mobilized in each of their respective countries to help out in this crisis.
B’nai B’rith Hungary – Budapest Lodge
Together with other Jewish organizations, the Budapest Lodge created a platform for their volunteers. They have built up helping points in the two of the city’s railway stations, where the Ukrainian refugees are arriving to.
They created a website, in collaboration with other Jewish organizations, where all the necessary information can be found: https://jewsforukraine.hu/
They are working together with other civil organizations (at least 7 AID organizations are working beside them on the stations and on the border 24/7).
On the 19th of March, a cargo full of medicine and other important necessities has reached Lviv, through Kosice. The President of Concordia Lodge, Tomas Tesser, has helped them with this donation.
B’nai B’rith Slovakia – Concordia Lodge
A convoy of two boxes containing medicine has been sent from Slovakia, Kosice city – Concordia Lodge, across the boarder to Lviv Lodge. President of Concordia Lodge, Tomas Tesser and Vice President Roman Gajdos, have also been in touch with the Lodge in Lviv, helping with translation and emotional support to all the members there.
B’nai B’rith Italy – Italian Lodges
The Italian Lodges have come together initiating a project of providing hospitality, hosting Ukrainian Jewish refugees and helping with their integration in the Italian society (finding them job opportunities, language courses, shelter and all else needed).
The Italian Lodges will also soon be hosting the President of B’nai B’rith Europe and the Brussels office for a meeting concerning the next steps in the process of hosting and providing help for the refugees in Italy.
More information on that coming soon.
B’nai B’rith Romania – Moses Rosen Lodge
B’nai B’rith Romania’s treasurer, Marko Katz, with the help of Executive Committee member, Felicia Waldman, have sent a convoy of goods and medicine across the border to Czernowitz. The convoy reached the community of Ukraine on the 19th of March. The transported items were generators, warm clothing, fire extinguishers, lighting equipment, food and medicine and all these have been purchase with the help of donations coming from B’nai B’rith Europe, B’nai N’rith UK and B’nai B’rith Netherlands, B’nai B’rith International, with the support of the American Zionist Movement and and the Zionist Association in Romania (ASR).
B’nai B’rith UK – BBUK Lodges
B’nai B’rith UK now has a list of 24 BB members and friends who are prepared to consider hosting refugees in their homes. They are working closely with WJR, who will process the applications, handle vetting and match refugees to homes. They hope to keep the refugees in areas close to each other, such as in Cheadle or Radlett, so that they will have easy connections to their fellow countrymen who will at least be able to speak Ukrainian.
The Lodges in the UK have also been in constant contact with the Chernivtsi Jewish community and have helped the Kyiv Lodge Presidential family, donating money and finding them refuge in Republic of Moldova. BBUK has been in touch with the Levitas family for a long time also given the Medical Aid Project in Kyiv they’ve been running together. On the 22nd of March, they facilitated a meeting with BBI representatives and the Levitas family, in Warsaw.
B’nai B’rith UK has also sent the Tikva Children’s Home the sum of £6000 to help evacuate children to safety in Romania. Many of the children have been moved out of the region but due to legalities and the fact that some of them still have parents in Odessa, their future remains undecided. Those that are in Romania need much support and the association’s twenty year providing footwear to the children in Odessa gives them a special bond.
BBE donation to EZRA
The European Jewish Community Center is coordinating the offering of packages of needed goods to Ukrainian refugee families all across the Belgian capital, on the occasion of Pesach. B’nai B’rith Europe has joined the cause and donated 750 EUR to the Belgian organization ‘Ezra’, collaborating with EJCC, and delighted Ukrainian families with Pesach packages.
BBE support for Dnipro Jewish Community
BBE supports the acquisition of an ambulance for the Dnipro Jewish Community. In coordination with Executive Committee member, Felicia Waldman, BBE will be donating to a new relief project, that is collecting funds for purchasing and equipping the requested second ambulance in the city of Dnipro. This total sum will cover the cost of a second-hand ambulance, the equipment, the registration, and the transfer to Dnipro fees.
Donations have been made by many other Lodges, associations and individuals from all across Europe and beyond.
We would like to thank:
Franz Rosenzweig Lodge
Mala Zimetbaum Lodge
Raoul Wallenberg Lodge
Association Or ve Chalom
Henry Dunant Lodge
Edmond Fleg Lodge
Augustin Keller Lodge
B’nai B’rith International