Message from Rabbi Lindsey
About Ukraine and Israel



As we in the Jewish community prepare to celebrate Passover, the Feast of Freedom, we are keenly aware of the many ways in which our world is not yet free. It is truly devastating to watch from afar as Russia attacks major cities in Ukraine, resulting in millions of people fleeing their homes and the horror of many casualties. We continue to pray for all of those affected and for a speedy end to Russia's attacks. Please see below for suggestions on how we can take action.

As the war in Ukraine continues to unfold, our thoughts are also with the victims of recent terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank and their families. In the past few weeks, there have been attacks on civilians in Beersheva, B'nai Brak, and most recently Tel Aviv. Thirteen people have been killed in terror attacks in Israel since March 22. These attacks have sparked Israeli military raids on Palestinian communities in the West Bank, violent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians, and Palestinian protests and rioting.

As Ramadan, Passover, and Easter converge this week, we pray for a de-escalation of violence and for safety and peace for all who are celebrating these sacred occasions.

We wish comfort to the families and loved ones of the victims of war and terror. May the memories of all of those whose lives have been lost be for a blessing.

Here are a few ways you can take action to help Ukrainians:

  • Sponsor seders for Jewish Ukrainian refugees in Poland. This year, Bergen County Synagogues are partnering together to sponsor Ukrainian families in Poland for the Seder of 5782. The cost for each participant for Seder is $50. We are asking people to sponsor up to 4 souls. Please send your checks to Temple Emanu-El – Ukrainian Seder fund, or click here to donate online, please select Ukrainian Seder Fund 5782 as the Tribute Name when completing the form.
  • Give to reputable organizations. Our partners at HIAS are increasing their efforts to resettle refugees from Ukraine. Give here to support their emergency efforts. Timothy Snyder, a Yale historian who specializes in this region, offers the following suggestions for donations to assist civilians and reporters.
  • Take Action: Ask the Biden administration to keep Ukrainian families together. Now is the time to live up to our value of welcoming people in their moment of need. Take action via HIAS.
  • Learn more about the region. Read Timothy Snyder’s book, The Road to Unfreedom, for understanding Putin’s goals, as well as Masha Gessen’s The Man Without a Face and Surviving Autocracy for understanding Putin.
Rabbi Lindsey Healey-Pollack