delivering food for Ukrainian Jeish community
delivering food for Ukrainian Jeish community EMIH

The delegation of Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities (EMIH) left for Uzhhorod, Ukraine on this week, delivering two tons of food for the city’s Jewish community and those who asked for help from the local Chabad organization. The shipment included 800 kg kosher chicken meat from the EMIH’s kosher slaughterhouse in Csengele, 100 kg bakery products, 800 liters of kosher milk, and 100 kg imported butter and cheese. Furthermore they packed 50 kg chocolate and sweets.

Chief Rabbi of EMIH Shlomo Köves offered the President of the Union of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, Meir Stambler, the support of the Hungarian Jewish community, and promised Rabbi Wilhelm Mendel of Uzhhorod that, if necessary, members of the Transcarpathian community will be provided with longer-term care in Hungary.

EMIH has already set up 3 accommodation facilities for the refugees, two in Budapest and one at the Eastern border of Hungary, while more and more members of EMIH’s Jewish community offer their flats for those in need.

In Uzhhorod, that is in the Western part of Ukraine, life on Monday seemed relatively normal, except for the fact, that there was shortage of kosher food. The local Chabad accommodates refugees in their kindergarten. The food supply, EMIH delegation delivered is for helping them and other community members, who need kosher food.

"Many of them gathered around our vehicles, to welcome our delegation. A lady showed us around the kindergarten, how they could equip it for the refugees. We met a 18-year-old student of the Dnieper Jeshiva, who helps reading the Torah or he will read the Megillah, during Purim, because the rabbi family left for Israel for personal reasons before the war, but they couldn’t come back" - says Bálint Nógrádi, the EMIH’s financial official.

But the fact, that Ménachem Mendel Wilhelm, the sliach of Uzhhorod is not in Ukraine, doesn’t mean, that he is not helping. He constantly keeps in touch with his community, and organizing the aid process.

In Uzhhorod not only the citizens need help, but those, who transfer the city heading to the border. Up to 100-150 of them arrive by buses at the same time, and needs some meal, or just have a little rest. A woman bakes bread constantly for the refugees, and clean linen is hanged on ropes in the courtyard of the kindergarten.

"It was very shocking to see the crowds at the railway station and on buses. In local Chabad Centre, we experienced unbelievable cooperation of personnel and volunteers. We started to arrange the next food delivery to Uzhhorod as well," - says rabbi Jonatan Megyeri of the delegation.

"It is a big problem, that we can’t provide the amount of kosher food needed, because in Hungary not so wide range of kosher food is available. For example we could buy kosher cheese only from Wien. So we started to organize importing cheese from Great Britain and Belgium. In the meantime, the rabbi of Cluj Napoca, Romania also asked for help, so we send them today a pallet of kosher meat and 300 liters of milk" - added Bálint Nógrádi.