Ukrainian JC hosted a community forum last night to discuss the latest developments in the Russian invasion, as well as efforts to fundraise for medical supplies and other necessities.
“Everybody whose in this room has a someone, someone whose in Ukraine right now: Mariya has her dad, I have my grandmother whose 84 years old. She’s a scientist, she was born in Russia … but she came to Ukraine when she was a very young girl,” said Board of Education Trustee Natalia Ioffe.
“She’s built her life there, she’s been there for over 60 years. I said ‘grandma, get on a train, we’ll book a hotel in Poland for you.’ She said ‘no way, I’ve invested my life into this country, they’ve given everyone weapons, if they can’t defend me, God will.'”
Since the invasion began on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said 198 people have died and 1,115 have been wounded, with the U.S. and Germany planning to send munitions to help stave off the Russian soldiers, CNBC reported.
Mayor Steven Fulop, a Marine veteran and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, said that the city was gong to do everything they can to help Ukrainian families in their time of need.
“I unfortunately know war and their are no winners in it. And I know from my family the challenges you have when you have people that use force and people like the Hitlers and the Putins of the world and the impact that it has for decades and decades to come,” he said.
“What I want to tell you is you direct us on where you want us to be helpful and we will use every resource we have in order to make sure that the broader Jersey City community knows and knows how you want use to help them.”
Fulop also noted that the Immigrant Affairs and Refugee Program was ready, willing, and able to provide assistance for the duration of this crisis.
Ward E Councilman James Solomon noted that his great great grandfather came from Lithuania about a century ago and survived captured by hiding in the roof of a house.
“It reflects just how important the values of freedom are and how our country was so grateful to have a strong democracy and have freedom and how much we need to stand in solidarity with those who are fighting for those very same values at risk from someone who seems to be driven by pure aggression and desire for control.”
Hanna Kondratiuk, a member of Ukrainian JC, noted that she has family members in the Ukraine and hopes this push for democracy is their last.
“Our country is huge and it’s very beautiful and we’re trying to build democracy, it’s hard to do it after all our history but we’re trying and I think we are on the good way and I hope that we are, not [the way] we were. Please help us, donate.”
Anyone interested in donating to the cause can click here.