Ukrainian Jewish orphans take refuge in Romania

Jewish orphans and staff of an orphanage in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, are welcomed by Chabad of Cluj-Napoca.

A group of 140 Jewish orphans and staff from Chabad’s Alumim orphanage in Zhytomyr travelled through war-torn Ukraine to arrive 750 kilometres and 12 hours later, in the middle of the night in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where they received a warm welcome from the Jewish community; Rabbi Dovber Orgad and his wife, Fraidy, co-directors of Chabad of Cluj-Napoca, worked all night to prepare everything they might need. “We’ll help them in every way possible until they can move on,” said Rabbi Orgad. The final destination will be Israel.

The children were taken care of by Rabbi Orgad’s community until Thursday, when they flew to the city to visit local playgrounds and discover the city. “We’re trying to let them forget about the fighting and have some fun in their lives,” the rabbi says.

The massive humanitarian effort is being funded by concerned people from all around the world, who have been contributing to Chabad-Lubavitch of Ukraine via’s Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund, as well as local community members in the affected areas. Orgad says that the accommodation for the group was secured by a community member who worked to obtain a special rate for the children.

In Zhytomyr, Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, who stayed behind with his community said: “All the children are over the border. It’s a miracle.”


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