Monday, June 15, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Our five representatives landed safely. This update was received…
Today we arrived to sweltering heat in Dnepropetrovsk. Air conditioning is a luxury.
Richmond’s own, Mark Sisisky, opened the JFNA mission by stating to the participants that we have a great opportunity upon us. It is our responsibility to witness the despair, hear the stories of the displaced, assist the activities on the ground, and move the community forward. The soul purpose is to help our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Ukraine.
There is a widespread feeling of despair in Dnepropetrovsk, the Ukraine’s fourth largest city. It consists of broken and crumbling buildings, peppered with a few modern buildings here and there. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union some 25 years ago, not much has changed. But the tension of new Russian occupation is palpable.
One bright spot; the JDC is on job. It has become the defacto social service delivering food and supplies to community members. There are displaced people who will stay and others who will immigrate to Israel. Inflation has tripled. Funds have devaluated to disastrous proportions. It is heartbreaking to see the suffering.
Through the assistance of JFNA and the JDC, the objective is to create a thriving Jewish community for those who stay and to assist those who wish to start a new life in Israel.
More details from the field tomorrow.