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  • Author icon October 31, 2022

Ukraine Update: Bitter Winter Approaching

Nine months into the conflict in Ukraine, each week, even each day, dawns differently. This bulletin looks at the looming winter and what it could mean for Ukraine’s Jews and JDC’s lifesaving work.

Power Shortages and Rolling Blackouts: Ukraine Prepares for a Difficult Winter

Winter in Ukraine is fast approaching and the country’s Jews are distraught. How will they survive the bitter winter – where temperatures often drop below freezing – when there is no guarantee they will have heat or even water?

In recent weeks, electric lines and power stations throughout Ukraine have been knocked out. Gas and even water sources have been destroyed. In the capital of Kyiv, buses have replaced electric trams on the city’s streets, to conserve electricity, which has become a costly and scarce. Across the country, people have been asked to limit their electricity use. In some places, rolling blackouts mean there is no electricity at all.

A Jewish woman in Ukraine

Since the start of the conflict, JDC has stood shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainian Jewry to help them overcome extreme adversity. 

Today, this means strategizing creative ways to help Ukraine’s most vulnerable Jews survive the winter. With power lines being bombed daily, skyrocketing prices and the threat of further chaos, it is clear that our winter relief operations must be expanded.

JDC is on the ground, devising new ways to bring warmth to Ukraine’s Jews even when heating systems lose power. This means providing Ukraine’s Jews with coal and wood, electric heaters and blankets, wood, boots, coats and heavy sweaters, thick blankets, sturdy sleeping bags, flashlights and individual gas burners so that they can at least heat water for tea.

We will also provide supplemental monetary assistance to offset soaring fuel and energy costs, and we will expand the scope of our operation to include greater numbers of people.

We are also making plans to turn JDC’s Hesed Assistance Centers and JCCs into winter shelters, stocking these community buildings with generators, heaters, water, and food, turning them into temporary safe and warm havens should power fail. These buildings, which already serve as a “second home” for thousands, would briefly transform into literal homes, sheltering Ukraine’s Jews in the face of subzero temperatures. 

With your support, The Joint will provide over 22,100 needy Jews in Ukraine with the help they need to survive the winter. 


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