Russian Separatists Fire Rockets at Jewish Welfare Center in Eastern Ukraine
A Jewish welfare center in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, was hit by two rockets today, as pro-Russian forces launched a deadly attack targeting both Ukraine’s military headquarters and a residential area in the city.
The rockets, which damaged the 9-story building where the center is located, did not explode, as one hit the roof and another landed in the backyard. No injuries were immediately reported at the center and the building has been evacuated. However, at least five people were killed and 26 wounded in the latest Russian attack on the city, RFE/RL reported.
The center, a part of the ‘Hesed’ network supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), serves over 560 elderly and poor Jews and employs 42 people.
A statement from JDC pointed out that the organization, which marked its centennial last year, has been at the forefront of aid efforts since the Ukraine crisis began. “The organization has delivered food, medicine, homecare, stipends for new accommodation, post-trauma care, and vitally important winter fuel, bedding, and clothing as the conflict has worsened,” the statement noted. “JDC currently serves over 4,600 Jews in the eastern conflict zones and 2,400 internally displaced Jews who have fled to cities like Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Odessa.”
Alan Gill, JDC’s CEO, told The Algemeiner that he was urging the American Jewish community to “stand with us, once again, as we serve as a lifeline to those in crisis.”
“Obviously today’s rocket attack in Kramatorsk highlights the harsh, challenging environment that Ukraine’s neediest Jews are living in,” Gill said. “While we mourn the loss of life, and are thankful there were no injuries at the Hesed, we have to redouble our efforts on the ground to ensure the safety and well-being of the elderly and poor who are hit hardest by the violence and economic turmoil brought on by the conflict.”
JDC’s work in Ukraine is undertaken in cooperation with the local Jewish community and with partner organizations including Chabad, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations of North America, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.