I have a personal connection to the Russia-Ukraine War because my brother-in-law and his wife live there. They are still in the Ukraine working on their farm and running their bakery because the local villagers–and now refugees as well–depend on them for food. Also, one of our office co-workers lives in a large city that has been under daily bombardment since Russian attacks began on February 24.
It is everyman’s nightmare. Excruciating images of masses of fleeing refugees under bombardment. Women, children, the elderly and infirm running the gauntlet to escape. Families separated. Hospitals, schools, kindergartens destroyed. Civilian apartment blocks turned into rubble. Whole cities under siege without water, heat, electricity, neighborhoods flattened. The deliberate targeting of civilians, as ordered by one vainglorious man and carried out by his minion generals in the unprovoked Russian invasion of the Ukraine. This is the situation today.
As young children growing up in the Goldberg home, my brother David and I heard stories from our parents about the Holocaust and WWII: about persecution and flight under bombardment; about the difficulties of obtaining food and taking care of basic necessities; about death and destruction; about betrayal and unexpected aid and shelter; about refugees and family reunions.
The Holocaust was a unique tragedy in history; still many of the scenes today are the same as 80 years ago. Some of our elderly readers and supporters went through similar experiences.
We are aiding a coordination center in the Ukraine. They are organizing help for elderly Holocaust survivors to provide them with food and other necessities, as well as to arrange for escape and transport to Israel.
LEMA’AN ZION has been helping refugees for decades: Jews from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. And we do so in keeping with a practice our father began after WWII, when he organized large aid collections in Sweden, filling buses, trucks and railroad cars with goods to help refugees of any nationality in northern Europe.
Of course, we must continue our other projects, including aiding Holocaust survivors in Israel; sponsoring soup kitchens; ongoing support for terror victims and Gush Katif expellees. Likewise, our hasbara (educational) efforts about Israel and tefilla (prayer support) programs continue.
We have been called upon to help in this emergency. We wanted to share this with you. “He who shows kindness to the poor lends to the LORD; He will repay his kindness” (Prov. 19:17).
Shalom from Jerusalem,
Gabriel A. Goldberg
March 12, 2022