Odessa
Odessa iStock

The Jewish community in Odessa, Ukraine, was one of the first to suffer from the Russian attack, including the 250 children living in the city's orphanage.

Rabbi Shlomo Baksht, director of the orphanage, told 103FM about the situation. "We have a lot of worries right now. I'm in touch with all the members of the community. We do not know what will happen next, but these children are the rock that sits on our hearts. We have children here with a very difficult story. A child whose mother threw him in the trash or a child with parents who were addicts. The stories are shocking and they are all close to our hearts."

Regarding the efforts to take the orphans to a safe place, he explained, "Right now we have them all on buses but do not know where we are going. The operation is complex and not completely safe. We have prepared food and medicine for a long enough period, and different types of places of refuge. We change things while on the move, everything happens from moment to moment. Things are very complex. We are in contact with the relevant parties in the State of Israel at the highest level."

His daughter, Shira Baksht, who works with him, joined the conversation and shared her experiences with the children: "The situation is not simple. We try to calm the children - they heard explosions and were frightened. We told them we are going on a trip. I will never leave them. These are children from the age of 0 until university. Orphanhood can happen at any age."

She added, "For a month now we have been preparing logistically for what is happening now. It is very cold here, so we took the warmest clothes we could and all the food we could prepare."