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The Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine helping Jews to celebrate Hanukkah

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine every year for the past five years has distributed 35,000 kits to 35,000 Jewish households across the country. This year they realised that they must increase the light and override the darkness.

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine CEO Alina Teplitsky said

“We must reach as many Jewish homes as possible and bring them the light and joy of Hanukkah.”

Because of the complicated situation, which also has become even more difficult since many areas do not have electricity, preparations for Hanukkah celebrations across the country began before Rosh Hashanah.

The distribution of the kits was this year much more difficult than the previous years, but the Ukrainians do not let themselves be brought down by the Russians and continue their activities bravely, even if bombs fly around them and there is no electricity to give them light or gas to heat them.

Everyone has to live from day to day, with the uncertainty of what the next day may bring. But these days with the lighting of the menorah, one can think of the hope that the Most High provides for His People. This gives extra courage to persevere and face the dark days full of hope and awareness that there will (one day) be an end.

Rabbi Shlomo Salomon, Chabad emissary and rabbi of the city Kremenchuk, said:

“We don’t know what will happen to us … during Hanukkah since we may be under shelling again.
The question is, Will we have light and electricity?
With God’s help, we intend to stay here at any cost, to keep the light and hope grow.”

Despite a cruise missile hitting a mall in Kremenchuk a few months ago, the number of local Jews has actually increased, he said,

“because of Jews who until now kept their religion under wraps and now want to unite with their brothers”

and also because

“of Jews who immigrated to Kremenchuk from cities and towns in the east, from places occupied by the Russians.”

Also Rabbi Dov Axelrod, of Cherkassy in the centre of Ukraine, made every effort to have Hanukkah celebrated this year “with more light” than in previous years.

“People are in confusion and in the dark because of the damage to the electricity facilities,”

he said. But he and his fellow believers will not let themselves be done either and plan to stand firm and stay there, despite the difficulty and suffering.

Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) president and CEO Eric Fingerhut said

“Hanukkah symbolises the Jewish people’s defeat over darkness and forces of destruction, and this message is so relevant today for our brothers and sisters impacted by the war in Ukraine. It is our duty and privilege to bring the light of Hanukkah to Jewish people in Ukraine and neighboring countries, working with our partner organisations so that they can celebrate this joyous holiday during such difficult circumstances.”

Because of initiatives the JFNA is sponsoring, it is made possible that refugees who fled Ukraine and found safe havens in Poland and Barcelona can celebrate Hanukkah together with Jewish volunteers from the US and Canada. The activity is part of the JFNA’s volunteer hub, which launched last March and has since placed 100 Russian-speaking volunteers supporting refugees.

Many of our brethren and sisters appreciate Hanukkah’s Haftarah, Zecharia 2:

Live “not by power but by spirit.”

And their spirit cannot and shall not be broken by the Russian aggressor.

As Rabbi Meir Stambler said:

“In light of the upheaval prevailing in the Ukrainian capital following the Russian bombings of strategic infrastructure facilities, the lighting of the menorah will stand out even more and symbolise more than anything that light overcomes darkness.”

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Preceding

  1. Hanukkah Feast of light
  2. December a joyful time for many
  3. Holidays: Inherent Joy vs. Circumstances

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Additional reading

  1. The liberation of Jerusalem
  2. Coming together in dark days
  3. Beginning of a festival of lights
  4. Seeing the glass half-empty or half-full
  5. Hanukkah Feast of light (Our World)
  6. Dark times looking like death is around the corner – but Light given to us
  7. Our Responsibility in corona-times #1 Collective religious worship
  8. the first Night of Hanukkah
  9. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  10. A Meaningful Thanksgivukkah
  11. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  12. News Update: Offbeat Jewish News Edition
  13. Evergreen trees and Decorations with festive foliage
  14. Hanukkah gathering under the light in the darkness
  15. Though darkened by Russian strikes lights of hope

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Related

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  14. ‘Khanukah Gelt’
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  16. Has Hanukkah Passed Its Expiration Date?
  17. Love, Fear and the Service of G-d
  18. Should Christians Celebrate Hanukkah?
  19. ‘Non-traditional’ Hanukkah celebrations are often steeped in tradition for Jews of color | Idea
  20. BW’s Daily Video: Mayim Bialik Sets The Hanukkah Record Straight
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Published by Immanuel Verbondskind

Being a creature of the Most High Maker, wanting to know His Word better and to see clear in the many religious groups this world has. + Een schepsel van de Allerhoogste Maker, die Zijn Woord beter wil leren kennen en duidelijk wenst te zien in de Goddelijke Boodschap en in de vele religieuze groeperingen van deze wereld.

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