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Indy’s Jewish Federation raising money to help people in Ukraine

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis is raising money to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Donations to the Ukrainian Crisis Fund will help provide Ukrainians with food, water, and medicine, as well as access to transportation, housing, and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Aid will be given to anyone in need in Ukraine, not just those of the Jewish faith, says Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, interim executive director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.

“A community is being oppressed, especially violently…in Ukraine,” Spiegel said. “We will do whatever we can to help.”

According to Spiegel, the turmoil in Ukraine isn’t too different from what Jewish people living there experienced in the early 1900s, when thousands of Jews were forced to flee Ukraine, Poland, and other nearby countries because of antisemitic violence.

Spiegel says members of his family were forced to flee during that time, just as Ukrainians of all faiths are trying to leave the country today because of the war with Russia.

“Before World War II, there were 2.5 million Jews living in Ukraine. And, in modern times, [there are] about 200,000. Most of whom are going to have to leave,” Spiegel said.

Since the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis announced its involvement with the Ukrianian Crisis Fund, more than $130,000 has been raised, according to Spiegel.

New donations of up to $50,000 will be matched by the Glick Family Foundation and the Herbert Simon Family Foundation.