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Ukrainian Refugees Need Our Help; Here’s How Jews Can Act Now

Feb 27, 2022

Blog Post

Mark Hetfield - President and CEO

Ukrainian refugees arrive at the Zahonyi railway station in northeastern Hungary just over the border from Ukraine, February 27, 2022

(Attila Kisenbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

This column originally appeared in The Forward

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently made an urgent plea to global leaders:

“If you don’t help us now, if you fail to offer a powerful assistance to Ukraine, tomorrow the war will knock on your door.”

The war is already knocking. Ukrainians — especially women and children — are fleeing their cities, enduring unimaginable risks.

These brave Ukrainians need humanitarian assistance. But humanitarian work cannot be left to humanitarian organizations alone.

Organizations like HIAS, the international refugee agency of the Jewish community, are only as strong as the funding and backing we get from governments and the international community — and only as persuasive as the voices of our supporters, who must demand decisive government action.

While the global refugee crisis was already out of control, the worst may be yet to come. The crisis in Ukraine poses an unprecedented challenge. A country of 45 million people has been invaded by a military superpower. We all have a role to play and sacrifices to make.

Read the rest of Mark Hetfield's column in The Forward