As the war in Ukraine continues to wreak havoc and we hear more and more reports of the horrors committed by Russian troops against Ukrainians, we must respond. While sending money and supplies are good things to do, it is simply not enough. This is why I have joined my colleague, Rabbi Adam Watstein at B’nai Aviv, along with Irna Marfield from St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church, Grace Manne from St. Marks Catholic Church, Randy Coleman from Jewish Family Services, Rafi Nagli the President of Florida for Ukraine and several other leaders who represent religious groups and social services agencies from our local community. We are committed to building a system of support for a potential influx of Ukrainian refugees to our area in the coming weeks. While the timeline and detail for the State Department’s expansion plan for Ukrainian refugees is unknown, many are entering the US through other channels. Over 2,000 Ukrainian refugees are currently being processed at the Southern border, with hundreds more arriving daily. We need to be ready to house, clothe, feed, educate, advise, employ and embrace these refugees at a moment’s notice. And so, we have created our own South Florida Ukrainian Refugee Resettlement Project. This is a grassroots effort that I hope you will support.

Right now, there are two primary ways you can join us.

  1.      If you are comfortable with the idea of opening your home for an extended period of time to a refugee/refugee family – and we know that not everyone is, and that’s okay – please click here and fill out the information requested. Please note, this form is hosted on B’nai Aviv’s website at this time. Your information will be shared only with those organizing the project. Once you fill out this form, you will be invited to an informational Zoom session to learn more. Filling out the form does not obligate you to taking people into your home. We know that there are many questions and concerns that need to be addressed.
  1.      Even if you are not able to host, WE STILL NEED YOU. There are so many other ways you can help us. Please click here to find a way to join us that works for you. The information you share on this form is shared only with those organizing the project.

While we really need YOU, we have created a special fund that is managed by a few of us overseeing this project. Your financial support will certainly be helpful. If you would like to make a donation to this fund, please make checks payable to “Ukrainian Refugee Resettlement Program” and mail to Ramat Shalom at 11301 W. Broward Blvd – Plantation, FL 33325. You can also call Ramat Shalom to make a donation: 954-472-3600.

This global crisis, the fastest and largest displacement of people in Europe since WWII, is fluid. Refugees might arrive in South Florida in a few days or in several weeks. We do not know. But, as a community, we will be prepared. Years from now, people will ask us, what did you do to help the people of Ukraine? Join me and you will be proud of your answer.

Thank you for making a difference

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