Odessa Rav To Knesset: “Humanitarian Crisis Is Imminent, Children Will Starve”

Rav of Odessa, HaRav Avraham Wolf. (Knesset Channel screenshot)

HaRav Avraham Wolf, Chabad shliach and Chief Rabbi of Odessa, spoke via Zoom during a meeting of the Knesset’s Constitution and Law Committee on Monday. Absorption Minister Pnina Tamno-Shata also participated in the meeting.

“The situation in Ukraine is very bad, some cities are worse off than others,” Rav Wolf said. “There’s Kyiv and Kharkiv which are under fire and surrounded by the Russian army. Chabad shluchim there are in bomb shelters since Friday. My brother, the Rav of Kherson [Rav Yosef Yitzchak Wolf], hasn’t left the house since Friday. There’s fire in front of his house, explosions the whole night, and Russian tanks.”

“The situation is extremely difficult. A humanitarian crisis is about to occur if nothing is done. Over 100,000 refugees are in Moldova. There’s no need to wait for a disaster when food and medication run out. This is the time to operate Israir to bring Israelis home and those who want to make aliyah.”

“We organized ourselves [in Odessa] to take care of those who need it. We have a Chabad nursing home with 50 Holocaust survivors, 120 orphans in Chabad institutions, and 140 students. We prepared ahead with 30 tons of food and can feed the children and Holocaust survivors but we need to feed everyone. I already see now from the pace the food is running out that soon we won’t be able to send food to the 8,000 Jewish adults and children in Odessa.”

“I speak in the names of 32 large cities in Ukraine served by 180 Chabad shlichim. All the Rabbanim are facing shortages of food, All the pharmacies are closed – the ones that are open don’t even have the most minimal medications. A humanitarian crisis is going to occur – not today but in 7-10 days. I see it now. If the Chabbad Rabbanim in all the cities will receive money and budgets today, not tomorrow or the day after when there’s already no food, we’ll be able to purchase food.”

“Now is the time. There’s no need to wait for the situation to get worse. There are small children who will starve if we don’t wake up in time.”

Rav Wolf concluded in a choked voice: “A Rav wrote me: ‘There are children here that don’t have food.'”

“Transfer money to us now so we can purchase food and medications. We sent out dozens of buses and hundreds of Jewish families. It isn’t only Chabad in Ukraine, it’s also Chabad in Moldova. Everyone is working together. Time is running out.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)