We have watched, horrified, as Putin’s Russia has invaded Ukraine, causing bloodshed, destruction, and hundreds of thousands of innocent people fleeing. What you may not know is that Hazon operates a global Jewish intentional community network called Hakhel that includes communities in Ukraine. For the past five years, the Hakhel network has engaged leaders and innovative communities doing great things in Ukraine, in all major cities: Kiev, Harkov, Lvov, Odessa, and Dnepro. They were there before this crisis and they will outlast it, doing amazing things in Jewish education, community building, culture and social activism.
Friday morning, our Hakhel Director, Aharon Ariel Lavi, organized a call for the Hakhel network to hear directly from these Ukrainian Jewish leaders. You can watch the entire meeting here. If you read Hebrew, you might also like this piece on yNet, Israel’s largest news website, covering our efforts.
If you would like to get involved and stay informed, please register here.
These action items emerged from that call:
- Supporting Refugees: A delegation is going tomorrow to Kishinyev, Moldova, to support the local Rabbi in attending over 500 refugees, 200 of whom are children. We expect to receive more requests for delegations. Hakhel communities in Europe are opening their homes and their hearts to refugees who make it into the European Union. Israelis are also opening their homes and hearts for those who can make it to Israel.
- Social Media: Our partners want us to make sure the world knows the truth about this war. Many people in Russia don’t believe this war is really happening. Join our WhatsApp group to get ongoing updates and share them.
- Emotional and Psychological Support: Hakhel partners with Israeli organizations to mobilize professionals and volunteers in order to provide emotional and psychological support for Ukrainian children and families. If you are a Russian/Ukrainian certified therapist, please be in touch and we will find a way to connect you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Donations: We are grateful to our partners at The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for their steadfast leadership during over many decades, supporting communities worldwide in their time of need. JDC is on the front lines, delivering urgent, lifesaving care to the Jewish seniors and families who count on us, including activating hotlines, emergency homecare plans, and securing safe facilities for Jews fleeing their homes. Your gift will ensure the uninterrupted provision of food, medicine, and other emergency support — a lifeline to Ukraine’s Jews at this critical time. Donate to JDC here.
- You can also support our efforts at Hakhel to support Ukrainian communities to buy food, pay for housing on the run, and to maintain refugee centers in Lvov (Western Ukraine) and in Moldova, and to send volunteers, food, and equipment there. Once the war is over, we will continue to support our partners as they lead communal rehabilitation. Click Here to Support Hakhel’s Efforts in Ukraine
- Leadership: We are grateful not only to JDC, but also to the European Council of Jewish Communities, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Makom, the Israeli umbrella organization of intentional communities, for their partnership and leadership during this crisis.
We pray for the continued safety of our Hakhel friends and partners.
And with all our hearts, we pray for peace.
Thank you for all your support,
Chief Executive Officer
Aharon Ariel Lavi
Founding Director, Hakhel Jewish Intentional Communities Network
Co-Director, Hakhel Jewish Intentional Communities Network