A group of Montreal rabbis travelled to Ukraine’s border with Poland to deliver supplies and to see firsthand the situation on the ground this week.
“This is a an effort that shouldn't fall on the shoulders of one country alone," Rabbi Reuben Poupko told CTV News.
Rabbi Poupko arrived in Poland on Monday with two other Montreal rabbis, Rabbi Mark Fishman and Rabbi Adam Schier.
They landed in Warsaw and drove five hours to the border with Ukraine, where they delivered food, clothing and money to refugees.
He said that they saw up close “the trauma on the face of kids.”
“People who were told they had a chance to leave and had to gather everything they cherished in a knapsack in 20 minutes," Rabbi Poupko said.
The rabbis are staying in the area for several days to help out with handing out supplies and visiting refugee centres.
"We met with some people whose families in Montreal had told us that their relatives had fled Ukraine for Poland," Poupko said. "We brought them what they had asked for, what they needed."
They also met with Canada’s ambassador to Poland, Leslie Scanlon, who they urged to request that the Canadian government increase its humanitarian aid.
It’s shocking that “one man, one country, goes ahead and… attempts to completely destroy another country for no reason,” Rabbi Poupko said.
"It's astonishing that in the year 2022, you have the land war in Europe, an unprovoked land war in Europe, where the Russian army is not going after military targets – there's no pretense of that," he said. "They're just simply indiscriminately bombing civilians in Odessa, now, Kyiv, Kharkov and Kherson."