As a priority of the Tikkun Olam Committee, we are working to provide resources to our community on how to participate relief in Ukraine. We hope that this page is useful and invite you to send us resources and tools that you have found useful. This page will be updated regularly.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is now welcoming applications from Reform congregations for Kraus Immigration Justice Mini-grants in amounts up to $5000 USD. The purpose of these grants is to encourage congregations to create programming to support young migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, with particular attention to congregations working with Ukrainian and Afghani asylum seekers and refugees. For more information and to apply follow this link. Applications are open until Friday, June 10th.
During this frightening time, the RJCC is committed to helping and supporting the people of Ukraine. Our response is twofold:
1) We are working with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) to provide relief on the ground to the Jewish community in Ukraine. The WUPJ is currently seeking donations for their Ukraine Crisis Fund. We are working with the WUPJ to find new ways of providing relief including matching Canadian congregations with European Congregations to support them in any way they need, in areas including spirituality, programming, and social/community events.
2) Working with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) to help settle Ukrainian asylum seekers in Canada. JIAS is asking synagogues to help form “welcome circles” made up of volunteers who can help provide assistance in areas such as housing, school enrolment, accessing government services including healthcare, and providing social support.
Welcome Circles are inspired by a series of informal matching programs that volunteers have participated in through JIAS over the years, as well as by Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees. As Ukrainians are not currently classified as refugees, they do not require the sponsorship component, but they still require community support.
Potential volunteers must undergo an application process, interview, and background check, as well as providing proof of their vaccination against COVID-19. JIAS will provide a response and reference guide and offer a series of training sessions to ensure that Welcome Circle volunteers are appropriately knowledgable, informed, and supported.
For more information and to apply, check out this FAQ and this link. Some synagogues, such as Temple Sholom in Vancouver, are also working with organizations such as Ukrainian Vancouver to provide additional support to new Ukranian arrivals. Some communities are also choosing to work with local Jewish Family Services (JFS) to provide more support.
Our Vancouver Congregation, Temple Sholom, has already started the process with their members and are using this form Ukraine Welcome Circles - Form - Temple Sholom (shulcloud.com) to audit the resources they can pull from their community. Feel free to use this as a starting point. If you are interested in connecting with Temple Sholom and learning more about how they got started, what they are doing, Kim Werker, a member of Temple Sholom and our Tikkun Olam Steering Committee, has graciously offered to connect.