SEATTLE — Six Seattle Jewish organizations have joined forces to create the Seattle Jewish Community Ukraine Challenge, which aims to raise funds to help Ukrainian Jews flee the Russian invasion.
The money will also be used to help any Ukrainian refugees resettling in the Puget Sound area. The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle will serve as the administrative partner for the fund and will donate 100% of funds raised to Ukrainians in need.
Rabbi Will Berkovitz, the CEO of Jewish Family Service, said Russia's invasion of Ukraine is reminding many in the community of the devastation Jewish people in Europe faced decades ago.
"In some ways there's an echo of that past. For our community, the trauma of World War II looms incredibly large, so when we see these images [of Ukraine], we really see in some cases, images that remind us of our ancestors," said Berkovitz.
"As Jews who have gone through so much in our history, we cannot and will not stand idly by, I mean it's baked into our values," said Nancy Greer, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
Local Jewish leaders have committed $1.2 million to match donations made by community members. The goal of the challenge is to inspire the community to raise another $1.2 million to donate a total of nearly $2.5 million by April 30.
Funds designated for humanitarian aid will be sent overseas to Jewish organizations on the ground to provide immediate temporary housing, medical supplies and food for refugees. The money will also be used to assist those wishing to emigrate to Israel.
Donors can also designate a percentage of their gift to the Jewish Family Service which will go toward helping support Jewish and non-Jewish refugees who resettle in the Puget Sound area.
You can donate to the Seattle Jewish Community Ukraine Challenge here.