Emergency Campaign for Masorti/Conservative Communities in Ukraine
Masorti Olami calls upon all of our friends and supporters worldwide to give generously to our emergency campaign for the Masorti/Conservative communities in Ukraine by clicking here. Ukraine stands at a precarious point, with a possible invasion from Russian forces on the horizon, and many still struggling with the repercussions of the ongoing war in Eastern, Northern and Southern Ukraine, which began in 2014. We are in close contact with our communities in Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Odessa, Kharkov and Dnipro who report that they are currently safe and at home, but are worried about the future and are in a state of uncertainty, not sure when an invasion could occur or how it would play out. They have conveyed to us their current fears and needs and we have created this campaign, calling on the assistance of our supporters around the world, to help them.
Masorti is a growing movement around the world, and our fastest expansion today is in Ukraine. Less than thirty years after the fall of Communism, Jewish life in Ukraine is flourishing once more, in what had previously been one of the greatest centers of world Jewish life. Masorti plays an active and growing role in the renaissance of Jewish life across the country, providing an answer to Jews seeking to connect with their traditions in a modern an egalitarian framework. Masorti offers Ukrainian Jews a vast array of services and needs for Jewish life including synagogues, camps, youth groups, schools, ulpan, lectures, kashrut certification and much more. 
Masorti Ukraine Family Camp in the Carpathian Mountains
Rabbi Reuven and his wife Lena (Mihal) Stamov run the Masoret Kyiv community and serve the entire country visiting our Kehillot in Chernivtsi, Odessa, Kharkov, and Dnipro, and offer Jewish religious services and organize, strengthen and develop the communities. Rabbi Reuven, the first Masorti/Conservative rabbi in all of the Former Soviet Union, was installed in 2012 after training to be a rabbi at The Schechter Institute in Israel, before returning to his native country. Lena Stamov directs the NOAM youth programs which are active around Ukraine providing a social setting for Masorti youth to explore and learn about what it means to be Masorti and to grow and develop as leaders within the movement. Masorti Olami works in close partnership with The Schechter Institutes to support the work of Rabbi Reuven and Lena Stamov and all of our Ukrainian communities.

The current needs in Ukraine are extremely great, and the threat of war has especially caused panic and fear, with price increases and shortages of vital goods. The added fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over in Ukraine, has made it incredibly difficult to have access to what is needed. We are launching this emergency campaign to raise funds to support our Masorti/Conservative brothers and sisters in Ukraine during this challenging time. We hope that our help will enable our communities to make the necessary, albeit unfortunate, preparations in the event that they need to flee.

Click here to donate NOW to our communities in Ukraine. 
Community in Odessa During Havdalah
What Are Our Communities’ Most Urgent Needs?
The needs in Ukraine are changing and growing daily, based on the situation on the ground. We have compiled the most pressing needs that have been shared with us by our representatives in the communities in Ukraine.

1.      Professional Psychologists will be needed to work with our communities and individuals in dealing with and processing the current reality. The situation has already deeply impacted the mental health of many of the members of our communities, with people already showing signs of PTSD. Professional psychologists and therapists will provide the needed support to improve their mental health by leading activity-based counselling sessions. This support is also extremely important for the children and young people, who need outlets for their mental health.

2.      A safe camp for possible refugees is needed to provide respite and protection away from any possible violence or fighting. By providing a familiar family camp environment, close to the western border with Poland, women, children and families will be able to escape to a safe place, where the young people can be entertained and taken care of. Our communities in Kyiv, Kharkov and Odessa are at extreme risk because they are closest to where the Russian army is situated, and will likely need to be evacuated to Western Ukraine. Any planning for a potential escape will include reserving busses and other logistics ahead of time.

3.      Basic goods and supplies have increased in price, partly because the government has raised the prices of most of the goods in the country, including food, gas and other essential materials. The taxes on imports have also doubled, making it even harder to receive goods from neighboring countries. Funds are desperately needed for even basic supplies in preparation for a possible war.

4.      Vitamins, medicines and medical supplies are in short supply in the country due to people bulk buying in preparation for what may come, and most of the medicines left are not of good quality or reliable. The communities need more vitamins and medicines particularly for the more vulnerable and ill members of the communities, as well as for the children and young people. We hope to send packages with vitamins and other urgent supplies needed, despite the increased import taxes.

5.      Mishloach Manot for Purim are on our minds as well, despite the ongoing turmoil. With the joyful holiday of Purim only a month away, it is more important than ever that our communities across Ukraine can celebrate this holiday and feel supported, as they usually do. Joy is severely lacking during this time, and the ability to send and receive mishloach manot will light up this dark time for our brothers and sisters across Ukraine.

6.      Safe and secure synagogues/meeting centers are a crucial part of the communities in Kyiv, Kharkov, Odessa and Chernivtsi, now more than ever before, and are currently lacking any sort of security system. The synagogues are the center of their Masorti/Conservative Jewish life, and it is where people will likely gather in the case of an emergency. With a likely increase in violence and antisemitism, it is important that security measures such as cameras, security guards, as well as bomb shelters be installed as soon as possible. 
Kharkov Community Celebrating Hanukkah
A Prayer For Peace For Ukraine
We ask all of you to please join us in reciting Rabbi Nachman’s Prayer for Peace for the safety of our sisters and brothers in Ukraine:
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's Prayer for Peace in English taken from the Sim Shalom Siddur.
NOAM Celebrating Tu B'Shvat in Kharkov
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