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Crisis in Ukraine


As the situation in Ukraine continues to unfold, we are concerned about the military action and the resulting loss of life, as Ukraine’s fragile democracy is threatened. As we know, historically, in such circumstances the Jewish community becomes a target, and we are fearful of such an outcome in the coming days. As we learn more and resources become available, we will continue to share updates. Please check back here.

Please read the statement put out by the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), denouncing Russian aggression in Ukraine.

You Make a Difference

Contribute to these funds:

Participate / Watch / Listen / Pray / Share:

  • Watch members of the Poltava Jewish community celebrate Chanukah
  • Watch Direct from Ukraine: Live Conversation with Poltava and Odessa Jewish Leaders
    Elena Izmailowa, chairperson of Shir Ha-Yam of Odessa, and Eugenia Noshenko, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Am in Poltava, speak about living in Ukraine. A short video presentation also illustrates the vibrancy of Jewish progressive life in Ukraine before and during this war.
  • Visit the Beth Am Women-Odessa Photo Exhibit, brought to Beth Am by Lena Izmailova, the chair of Shirat Ha-Yam, our sister congregation in Odessa, Ukraine. In spite of the war in Ukraine, Beth Am Women decided to move forward with the project as a tribute to the bravery of our partners in Odessa. We hope that you find meaning and beauty in this exhibit of photographs.
  • Watch/listen to this video of a Ukrainian refugee singing with Lithuanian supporters. The song is Oi u luzi chervona kalyna (Oh, in the meadow a red guelder rose...) --  the anthem of a famous Ukrainian legion in an eastern European genre. The imagery is delicate, but the sub-text is an iron will unto death (which you can detect in the expression of the young woman who leads the song). The women who have joined in the singing are mainly Lithuanians, but they stand in for the millions of women and children who've had to flee Ukraine.
  • Watch our Congregation Beth Am Stands With Ukraine video.Thank you, Beth Am Community, for offering our sister congregations in Ukraine not only your prayers and financial support, but also these images expressing our community's sentiments of solidarity and hope for the future. WATCH
  • I ♥ UKRAINE: Our neighbor, Rabbi Sheldon Lewis of Kol Emeth, has helped create An Interfaith Grassroots Campaign of Protest & Support for Ukraine. I ♥Ukraine is an initiative for children and good people everywhere to stand up and to speak out against the unspeakable inhumanity in Ukraine. Please read updates and opportunities to take action.
  • Watch a recording of Julia Gris, Rabbi of Progressive Jewish Congregation of Odessa, in which she shares her amazing story (jump to the 20:00 min point in the recording)
  • Listen to the podcast "Ukraine's Jews in the Middle of a War" from the Shalom Hartman Institute is very powerful and informative. LISTEN
  • Pray with Religious Action Center Director Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner who joined an interfaith prayer service led by members of Congress. "We pray for and embrace in our hearts all God's children who are dying and suffering... Let not the world stand idly by while our Ukrainian family bleeds." WATCH the prayer service
  • Interest-Free Ukraine Assistance Loans: Share the news that Hebrew Free Loan is offering interest-free Ukraine Assistance loans to members of our Northern California Jewish community who need funds to support their loved ones who are in Ukraine or fleeing to safety. Interest-free loans of up to $20,000 are now available. LEARN MORE

Your support has made a difference:

Our sister community in Odessa, Ukraine now has electricity and heat thanks to Beth Am's community support.

A message of gratitude from our contact there: “Many thanks to the Beth Am community for your help with batteries for our community members. We purchased 6 [batteries] in order to check how useful this type of battery will be and how they work. And the results exceeded all our expectations. People are very pleased with how this device [performs] in a situation where there is no electricity for a long time. Such a battery charges very quickly in 2 hours and holds a charge for a long time. This is a charging station to which you can connect light, charge all gadgets, and can also power a gas-heater for home heating. A lamp on this battery can work continuously for three days. People are very happy and grateful for this support. Thank you a lot for… your huge help and support."

Your generous donations are feeding our friends at Shirat Ha-Yam in Odessa, Ukraine. They are very grateful! (August 2022)

See messages below from Jewish leaders in Ukraine in response to the messages of support our congregation shared with Ukrainians in March, via this video:

  • Today I wept for the first time since the beginning of this terrible misfortune. I cried when I watched your movie... Thank you for your feelings, support and for these tears that could finally flow from my soul, frozen with grief. Glory to Ukraine!
    Слава Україні! —Aleksandr and Aleksandra Haydar (March 24, 2022)

  • —Lena Izmailova, Chair of Shirat Ha-Yam, Our Sister Congregation in Odessa, Ukraine (March 23, 2022)


Thanks to grants received from WUPJ and HIAS, Elena Izmailova, the chair of Congregation Shirat Ha-Yam in Odessa, was able to pull together a Passover seder as well as distribute food packages to members of the Jewish community. Food resources were trucked in especially for the holiday. Those photographed at left risked their lives to gather together at the Odessa Hillel building to celebrate Passover, a celebration of freedom. See more photos from this unique seder, you helped make possible through your generous donations.

Zoom screen shot of the Congregation Beth Am of Poltava community virtual seder. Irina Beleskya helped conduct it with Eugenia Noshenko, the Poltava Jewish community leader.

Fri, March 24 2023 2 Nisan 5783