For those interested in learning about ways to help refugees and displaced persons:
Cards for Kids
“When Rabbi Blake was in Poland, he led a Zoom call where he talked about what he saw there. He said that one thing people needed was moral support. This inspired me to take action. I wanted to help other kids, so I started the “Cards for Kids” project. I asked my friends, neighbors, local schools and synagogues to all make cards or write letters to the Ukrainian refugee children. Everyone stepped up and helped.
I hope these cards bring a smile to the children who are fleeing their homes. I want them to know we are thinking of them. May these cards bring some joy during this difficult time.”
– Benjamin, 9 years old
Through Benjamin’s vision, thoughtfulness, and outreach, Cards for Kids collected 860 cards by kids for kids. Students at the WRT Jewish Learning Lab shared their support for the children of Ukraine by joining Benjamin’s Cards for Kids project and created cards with messages of hope for Ukrainian children.
Kosher for Passover Food Drive for Ukrainian Refugees
When UJA called WRT to say that Jewish refugees needed food for Passover, WRT’s answer was “we can help.” WRT served as the Westchester County hub for donation collection of kosher for Passover Food being flown to Eastern Europe. In 5 days, we were able to collect more than enough kosher for Passover food to fill 100 boxes and mobilize over 4o volunteers from throughout Westchester County, to sort, pack, and inventory the donations. We were one of four sites (two in Long Island and in NYC) that mobilized and together, we collected and sent 12,000 lbs. of kosher for Passover good that was then flown to the Ukraine and neighboring areas. The food collected in excess or that were not on the accepted transport list were donated to Met Council to be distributed to those in need throughout New York. Below are pictures of our volunteers packing and sorting approximately 3,000 lbs. of food.
Rabbi Blake’s Humanitarian Mission
Rabbi Blake was one of 19 rabbis who participated in a humanitarian mission to the Ukrainian border sponsored by UJA-NY. This select group of rabbis included representatives of congregations and organizations from every stream and denomination of Jewish life in the greater New York City area.
The mission focused on meeting with refugees from the war in Ukraine, and representatives from the many grantee organizations that UJA-NY and the Jewish Federation of North America are supporting during the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
The UJA Rabbinic mission of which Rabbi Blake is a part, brought 18 bags of medical and humanitarian supplied collected by Afya Foundation. Because of your generosity, we at WRT were able to be a small but significant part of the collection donated to Afya Foundation. Below is a picture of just some of the supplies donated by the WRT community.