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Rabbi David Spey responds to Supreme Court  - Roe v Wade

Today, the Supreme Court stripped the fundamental rights to essential health care decisions from those who can become pregnant.  Individuals are capable and need to be allowed to make ethical decisions based upon their own beliefs and best interest without government officials imposing their religious views.  To be denied access to life-saving medical care is an infringement upon our religious freedom as guaranteed by the First.  It is also morally reprehensible. 

For Rabbi Spey's full response, click here.

Crisis in Ukraine and the Jewish Federation & Community in Broward

From: Alona Geysman <ageysman@JewishBroward.org>
Subject: Crisis in Ukraine and the Jewish Federation & Community in Broward
Date: March 2, 2022 at 2:14:18 PM EST
 
 As some of you know I was born and raised in the city of Kharkiv (a predominantly Russian city during the Soviet Era) and we left for Israel in 1994 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Being in the Soviet Union meant being part of Russia, hence why my family and I all speak Russian. In 1991 Ukraine had separated and we were told to learn Ukrainian overnight. We left to Israel 6 months later because the country was in shambles. Unfortunately, this is part of Putin’s argument of claiming that Ukraine’s population are largely Russian-speaking and belong within Russia. I am not a policy expert in the region, I will just share with you a personal account of people we are in contact with there.   
 
Until last week, my family there did not think that Putin was going to invade. Everyone was aware that Putin was angered by the increasing Western influence on Ukraine and in combination with his thoughts about the Soviet Union collapse dividing Russian people and the current Ukrainian leader being outwardly antagonistic towards Moscow – but they did not think he would enter into bloodshed or risk the sanctions from other world superpowers. 
 
I only have two uncles and a few distant relatives left in their 50s left there. My mom’s brother was in the military when he was younger and is a big Ukrainian Patriot, especially since the Annex Crimea and has already told us he has taken up arms.   Kharkiv (the second largest city, close to the border with Russia which you have probably seen blown up in the last few days on your televisions). My grandfather moved to Russia several years ago (thankfully) although we do worry about Russians finding out he is Ukrainian. Wars breed hate. 
 
Many people who are left are much older now and if they didn’t leave during the communist era when their neighbors were being thrown in the gulag, or when Stalin starved hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, or after the Soviet Union collapse, numerous corruption crises and lastly when Russia annexed Crimea – they are probably not relocating now. I know Israel has accepted Jewish refugees and will likely accept many more. However, my family that is left there are not Jewish and their options today is moving to Poland, Slovakia, Romania or Hungary.
 
Two of our family friends have left for Slovakia (my father’s best friend’s daughter and her 1-year-old son, leaving her husband at the border as he could not leave with them being between ages 18-60). The rest are families with men in their 40s and late 50s and their children in their 20s who are not able to leave and have decided to stay together and fight for their homes, including my uncle and his family. We have been keeping in touch with them daily and they have been hiding in subway stations, basements, in hallways of old buildings during bombings. Struggling to find resources, access cash and shelter from the frigid cold. The building next to their high-rise was hit by rockets yesterday. They will likely not be able to return home for a long time. My uncle has been activated for duty. Two other family friends who are college students, have been called to the southern front to fight. The rest are hiding at home, afraid to turn their lights on to avoid becoming targets of rockets. The situation is SURREAL, AWFUL, DIRE. My heart is breaking for my own family as well as the thousands of other innocent people caught in this conflict. 
 
As I am sure most of you are watching the exodus of the 660,000+ refugees out of Ukraine – I do want you to know that YOUR support and THIS Federation are making a difference. Our community has truly come together to help EVERYONE, not just the Jewish people. My uncle and our friends are not of Jewish descent, yet our partners on the ground, such as the JDC, World ORT and Jewish Agency for Israel have reached out to my family numerous times offering transportation and aid. And, while my family is staying back to fight for their country, I am very proud of the work of these agencies on the ground offering humanitarian aid to all.
 
Last week our Jewish Federation had opened an emergency fund, with 100% of the proceeds going towards helping Ukrainians. Nationally, we are raising $20M. Some of the immediate services that were created were emergency hotlines, satellite phones, assisting displaced people in multiple locations, critical welfare services, food and temporary housing and securing the local Jewish community, schools and helping Jewish families make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel). Yes, we help Jewish people, and we do not turn anyone in need away. Now is your chance to help from afar and donate to help refugees and families left in Ukraine, please do so here:https://jewishbroward.org/ukraine-emergency-fund/
 
Another option of giving back are sending the following supplies for a maternity ward in Odessa, organized through a local temple Ramat Shalom ( in Plantation) in partnership with a Ukrainian Orthodox church. They’re in need of diapers, formula, oatmeal, pasta, salt, sugar, baby food, bottles of water and medical supplies (see attached for more details). You may drop off supplies here: 11301 W Broward Blvd, Plantation. Please just call ahead: 954-472-3600.
 
Last but not least!! Our local business - OVLO Eats restaurant will be donating 25% of their proceeds to help the Ukrainian people next week March 7-11th, 11am-8pm. If you are in the area and haven’t decided on lunch yet, please come in, dine and support! Located at 7626 Peters Rd, Plantation, FL 33324 and you can pre-order here: https://ovloeats.com/. Thank you to Vicki and Steve Stolberg for your support. (Flyer attached).
 
If you or your business would like to share any other ways that you are supporting or would like to support our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, please respond to me. I will continue to share information on my social media about local efforts and support from the corporate community.
 
 
Please keep in touch,
 
Alona Geysman
Vice President, Corporate & Business Development
Jewish Federation of Broward County
5890 S. Pine Island Rd.
Davie, Florida, 33328
(o)-954-252-6945
(f)-954-252-6892

 

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Fri, August 19 2022 22 Av 5782