Ukraine's Jews celebrate Passover despite challenges

This year, Jews of all ages across Ukraine are celebrating Passover in spite of escalating challenges.

To help make this a reality, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, JUF’s partner agency in Ukraine, provided nearly 53,000 boxes of matzah and coordinated scores of community Seders throughout the country — at Jewish Community Centers, at “Warm Home” gatherings of elderly Jews, in large cities, in towns and villages.

And just as they have been for more than two decades, some of these Seders were led by a cadre of young volunteers, who remind even the most isolated that we are all one big family.

From a spirited Seder featuring a klezmer band in Kharkov to a Simferopol Seder at the city’s “Old Crimea” restaurant to a holiday camp for families held in the outskirts of Kiev, JDC and JUF are ensuring that Passover in Ukraine and beyond is as vibrant, robust, and meaningful as ever.

At this uncertain time, celebrations of Jewish culture and tradition persevere. JUF is committed to working with its agencies overseas to care for Ukraine’s most vulnerable Jews, foster a continuing connection to yiddishkeit, and provide for needs both tangible and spiritual.

Read more about those increasing needs and how they are being addressed in JDC President Penny Blumenstein’s Letter to the Editor in the New York Times and in a JNS op-ed by JDC CEO Alan Gill.


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