NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Two members of a local Jewish group just got back from a whirlwind trip to the Ukrainian border. They were there partly to bring much-needed medical supplies, and partly to do something even more important.
“Our goal on this mission was to bring over-the-counter medications,” said Dr. Steve Fleischman, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. “So we, in our community, put the word out and had over 350 pounds of supplies.”
Supplies he brought over personally with the agency’s development officer Amy Holt.
“They were in desperate need of these medical supplies, first aid supplies, as well as things we take for granted here,” Holt said.
They spent about two days on the border, watching and helping as hundreds of refugees left their homeland behind.
“It’s very overwhelming to us and we are not the ones crossing the border,” Holt said. “You see them, and they are tired and they are emotional, and they are fearful.”
“They don’t know when they’ll go home, if they’ll ever go home, they don’t know if there’s any home left,” Fleischman said. “They left with a single bag and not much else.”
They got back to the U.S. just as we heard about a Russian attack on a train station that killed dozens of people trying to flee the country. The Jewish Federation not only wants to help the refugees but also to help the world to see the horrors being committed.
“We were there to bear witness,” Holt said. “We were there to be able to see it, to touch it, and to come home and talk about it, so that what happened in the holocaust never happens again.”
“The message that we need to get out to people is that there is a lot to be done, and if they can’t do it on the ground, they can certainly help us to achieve those goals,” Fleischman said.
The Jewish Federation of North America hopes to raise a hundred million dollars in aid for Ukraine. More information on how you can help can be found here: https://www.jewishnewhaven.org/