Jewish community helping those affected by invasion in Ukraine, Yad Yisroel working together to provide resources
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Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 20:02:25-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — People around the world who are horrified by Russia's invasion of Ukraine are coming up with creative ways to help. Some of that help is coming from South Florida's Jewish community.

The pictures speak for themselves. Many people are on buses fleeing Ukraine and sleeping on cots at refugee camps away from the war zones.

"We really left everything behind," said Nisan Podolsky.

Nisan Podolsky and his family are one of the many who left. They're now in Belarus, and WPTV talked to them via Zoom.

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Nisan and Shevie Podolsky and their children.

"We had two suitcases,” said Nisan Podolsky. “We put in some clothes for ourselves and the kids. We put in our precious things. Whatever we managed to fit. We didn't take anything more, because we knew we were going to be on the run."

They left with twin babies who were just six weeks old on a bus.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Russia-Ukraine Conflict

"It was quite hard with the babies. We manage it,” said Shevie Podolsky. “We had a lot of support and lots of help. We managed it."

"We need to have a situation where the money gets used and evacuates people and saves their lives," said Libby Hikind.

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Libby Hikind, founder of the fundraising website

Hikind, of Boynton Beach, is the founder of the fundraising website

They've partnered with Yad Yisroel, a non-profit organization that works and helps Jews from the former Soviet Union.

"I was looking for a nonprofit organization that has boots on the ground and Kyiv in Moldavia in all the areas of Ukraine that could actually take the money and do something with it," Libby said.

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Rabbi Elisha Gottdeiner of Yad Yisroel.

The organization is rescuing and relocating Ukrainians to other countries.

"We have many people in that situation, we took over to Israel. We're going to be setting them up, resetting them with apartments and jobs,” said Rabbi Elisha Gottdeiner of Yad Yisroel. “It's a lot of work, millions of dollars is going to be needed for this project. But, right now we got to do what we got to do."