Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine Prepares 45,000 Pesach Packages

By Hamodia Staff

At the expansive logistics center of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine (FJCU) located in Dnipro, employees wrapped up extensive Pesach preparations on Sunday. These efforts, initiated a month and a half earlier, involved organizing and dispatching essential packages to 45,000 Jewish families across 169 communities nationwide — a slight decrease from the 180 communities present before the war.

Long before Purim, scores of Federation workers and volunteers began assembling these 45,000 packages, each filled with items such as hand-made and machine-made matzahs, wine, grape juice, a Seder plate, a cup, a puzzle depicting a Seder plate, candles for Shabbos and Yom Tov, a beautifully translated Ukrainian Haggadah, and detailed information about the Yom Tov and its observances.

The Federation has made concerted efforts to source all products from factories owned by Ukrainian Jews, notably featuring machine matzos from Kyiv and hand-made matzos from the Tiferet Matzos bakery in Dnipro, which suffered damage from a Russian drone strike on the eve of Pesach last year.

The Federation, along with Chabad shluchim, plans to conduct public celebrations in the country’s 41 largest cities — an ongoing tradition for the past 33 years. These events are expected to draw around 20,000 participants over the two Seder nights.

This year, for the first time, Jewish soldiers on the front lines will also partake in the Pesach celebrations. Rabbi Yaakov Siniakov, appointed by the Federation to oversee Jewish religious activities in the military, recently held a workshop for chaplains serving as religious officers. He detailed the specific holiday needs of Jewish soldiers and ensured they had the means to celebrate. Similar to Purim, when permissions were granted for the first time to circulate on the front lines with gift packages and Haggados, Rabbi Siniakov, alongside volunteers, will distribute special packages to Jewish soldiers stationed along the extensive front lines.

Rabbi Meir Stambler, a Chabad shliach and chairman of the federation, said: “We never imagined that we would still be celebrating Pesach amidst an ongoing war and while our brothers in Israel confront a harsh war with their enemies. Yet, our resolve remains unbroken, and we are gearing up to observe the holiday with as much true freedom as possible. No war or adversity will quench our spirit to live as Jews. Both the Jews of Ukraine and Israel continue to hope that even before this Pesach ends, we will find ourselves in a time of peace. We keep our hopes high for next year in Yerushalayim.”

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