From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: April 2022

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Jim Cohen, CEO of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, recently returned from a mission trip to the border of Poland and Ukraine. He proudly reported to his Twin Cities colleagues that refugees streaming across this border are being greeted by a number of relief organizations, among them the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The JDC is the leading global Jewish humanitarian organization and often one of the first of its kind on the ground wherever catastrophe strikes.

Jim said that among an amazing throng of relief tents set up at the Poland-Ukraine border, the JDC tent, with its prominent Star of David, is the one that refugees see first. The JDC is offering basic assistance, as are the other relief organizations. Refugees are then transported to their next destination, a center where they are assisted in making arrangements for temporary residence or relocation to further destinations. The JDC is helping anyone and everyone who comes to their tent. We join Jim in his pride!

While I wish it was unnecessary for global humanitarian organizations to do what they are doing, I am grateful they exist and are responding to human needs in small, but significant ways. Fortunately, I can only imagine what assistance, support, and human kindness is handed out. Having resettled hundreds of refugees and immigrants from the former Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Holocaust survivors following World War ll, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis has experience providing essential support to people with urgent and long-term needs who have been displaced and traumatized.

Family reunification may be what lays ahead for some of these individuals and families. If asked to be a part of this endeavor, JFCS will assess if we can be of help. With services and programs addressing mental health, employment, financial assistance, food security, and community connection, we have a lot to offer. Our community has many families, originally from Ukraine and Russia, who are separated from family members living in or near this horrible war. We offer our services and our support. Our compassionate, experienced and resourceful staff are Here For All. Always.