For Ukraine and the World

For Ukraine and the World

From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

The atrocities. The bombing. The destruction. Russia’s Putin is fighting a war in the 21st century with strategies left over from the 20th. While the rest of the world learned lessons that were supposed to prevent this from ever happening again, Russia ignored them.

Signs of recovery from WWII and the Cold War were evident in the renaissance of the Jewish community in Kyiv. Though your ancestors and mine left the region beginning more than 100 years ago during repeated and terrible threats to Jewish life, those who returned or remained, even after the Holocaust, planted new seeds for a new future. It was a slow and daring dream built on faith that humanity could prevail in Ukraine.

Sadly, with each passing day, years of building are being torn down. We’re not seeing signs of de-escalation or cease-fire. Instead, we’re watching destruction along the path that Russia is taking towards Kyiv. In its wake, civilians, homes, schools, and sacred memorial sites at Babi Yar, are tragic victims of this senseless war.

Watching events unfold on TV and the Internet makes it perfectly clear what’s at stake. In the short run, the danger is centered in Kyiv. The world doesn’t want an emboldened dictator or czar. In the long run, the risk is a threat to all of us. A madman holds his finger over the nuclear launch button.

It’s time for us to act. Make a donation to fund the needs of Ukrainians and members of the Jewish community who are suffering. It’s truly so little to ask of us who live freely and without fear. Let our brothers and sisters in Ukraine know that the seeds of hope they planted will continue to grow and flourish.

Renee Wizig-Barrios, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, explains, “The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) have set a goal of $20 million, and Houston is looking to raise at least $220,000 toward this goal.” There are 200,000 Jews in Ukraine. They need our help. Give through Jewish Federation of Greater Houston at I gave through our local Federation. Won’t you give, too?

God bless them with strength found at home and abroad.
God bless them with courage found within and beyond.
God bless them with the sound of silent skies, sunlit mornings, and enduring peace.


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