The war in Ukraine is heartbreaking. The death and destruction is tragic. Millions of Ukrainians are being forced from their homes. Some are Jewish, including Holocaust Survivors who are fleeing from their homes for a second time. All are now refugees in a foreign land.
For Jewish people all over the world, it is now Passover. I have read news stories detailing how several organizations have mobilized to make sure that Ukrainian Jews still living in Ukraine as well as those who have taken refuge outside of Ukraine will be able to participate in a seder. Incredibly we are seeing images of Ukrainian refugees gathering for a Passover seder near the Warsaw Ghetto uprising site. This is yet another example of the unwavering commitment of Jews to honor our traditions and values, even in the most horrific circumstances.
While these uplifting stories from afar inspire us, we must not forget that, right here at home, in the Greater Palm Beaches, more than 200 Holocaust Survivors continue to live today as refugees from the horrors of Nazi Germany. Even though they have resided in America for many years, they are still living with the effects of the trauma of the sudden disruption in their lives by the worst acts of evil ever known to mankind.
So many of our friends and neighbors are suffering. Thousands of children, adults, families, seniors, and persons with disabilities of all ages are struggling with a myriad of challenges. Exorbitant rent increases, the rising cost of food, runaway gas prices and spiking electric bills – basic necessities that so many of us take for granted have become out of reach for thousands of families who are just barely getting by.
With your support, our caring professionals continue to deliver essential services to our neighbors in need. We are helping hundreds of them during Passover. We provided 155 households with either a basket of Passover food or a freshly cooked meal from the Kind Kitchen, happily delivered by our staff and volunteers. Each delivery was greeted by smiles, some even with handshakes and hugs (when safe and comfortable).
I will be keeping in my Passover prayers both the people abroad and those here at home that our community is helping. I know you will be doing the same.
Wishing you, your families, and your friends, a happy, healthy, and safe Passover. And to all who are reading this who celebrate Easter, wishing you a meaningful and happy holiday. We are united in our desire to make the world a better place for all in need of help and healing.