Children of Jewish refugees
Children of Jewish refugees Chabad Moldova
Just yesterday, three charter planes landed in Israel with 400 refugees fleeing the carnage in Ukraine, but tens of thousands remain in mortal danger not knowing what the next day will bring.
Children of Jewish refugees
Children of Jewish refugees Chabad Moldova

"Whatever the news networks are telling you, it's only a fraction of what's actually going on. People are left with nothing. The devastation is rampant," laments Rabbi Zushe Abelsky, director of Chabad of Moldova." Abelsky calls on Jewish communities around the world to come to the rescue of the refugees left out in the cold without a cent to their names. "We must bring every ounce of light that we can to these people. They have only us to depend on!"

As the tragedy in Ukraine continues to escalate and entire cities disappear before our very eyes, thousands of Jews from the cities of Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, and other areas in Ukraine continue streaming into Moldova. While for some, it's a temporary stopover before continuing to other destinations in Europe or Israel, many others arrive shell-shocked, shattered and confused, with no plans or idea for the future.

This is where Chabad of Moldova comes in, eager as ever to lend a helping hand to their Jewish brothers in need. Even as we're writing these words, thousands of Jewish refugees are being accommodated, fed hot, nourishing meals, receiving clothing and other necessities, and benefiting from the wide range of services provided by Chabad of Moldova.

Ukrainian refugees
Ukrainian refugees Chabad Moldova

Every day, Chabad continues opening new shelters and locations to provide for the Jewish refugees streaming into the country. Yesterday, a charter flight carrying 150 refugees took off from the capital city of Kishinev to Israel, but Abelsky points out that, "Not everyone is privileged to know where their next stop is after Moldova. Many arrived with a single bag of clothing not knowing what tomorrow would bring." In the meantime, Abelsky, himself, manages to share a few words about the situation on the ground while answering three phones, delivering a slew of instructions, and calming down a crying child.

Moldova is mired in uncertainty as Putin appears to be eyeing it as his next prize and approximately 10,000 Russian soldiers have been spotted advancing toward Kishinev. But the danger lurking over the horizon does not deter Chabad’s delegates in the former Soviet republic, who continue offering help to every Jewish refugee who crosses the threshold. "What will we do next?," they ask. No one has the answer. For now, the emissaries of Chabad are just fulfilling their mission.

Ukrainian refugees
Ukrainian refugees Chabad Moldova

Mr. Simcha Bozour, president of the Kishinev Jewish community, and Mr. Shabtai Hanukayiv have contributed greatly to the success of the operation, and they admit that arranging accommodations has been the most difficult part of the ongoing operation. Every hotel in the region and beyond is overbooked, and securing another bed is a struggle in its own right. Mr. Alexander Galperin has also been instrumental in arranging additional accommodations for refugees with the support of Parliament Member Anna Davidovich.

In a conversation with Rabbi Zushe Abelsky, director of Chabad Moldova, Kiev Rabbi Yossi Asman thanked him for the warm hospitality that he and his community has received. "The shluchim there—Rabbis Axelrod, Gotzel and Zalmanov—are under extraordinary pressure these days, he says. "Each one answers hundreds of phone calls a day and provides care for thousands of families and individuals—each one with their respective needs. They work nonstop, handling logistics of transporting food and clothing and finding sleeping arrangements; arranging to help refugees cross the border and transporting them to temporary accommodations. Despite their overwhelming lack of sleep and contstant fatigue, we were all received warmly. We want to say thank you!”

Rabbi Zushe Abelsky
Rabbi Zushe Abelsky Chabad Moldova