Right after the war in Ukraine broke out, Hungarian Jewish organizations joined forces to help Ukrainian refugees who fled Ukraine. This coalition of Jewish community organizations has provided a series of programs, services, and assistance for people in need. Particularly, we provided the following: accommodation, transport, food, clothing, hygiene products, toys for kids, supplies and items they needed for their journey, medical assistance, and information. This all comes in addition to various programs for refugees, including social, cultural, entertainment, and educational programs.
JCC Budapest, as part of this coalition, has built a sustainable crisis response operation with a variety of programs and services. As part of these operations, we have:
The news of our programs, especially the Charity Shop, started to spread on its own, primarily through word of mouth. Jewish and non-Jewish refugees have come into our JCC and have formed bonds with the Hungarian Jewish community. Since the Hungarian government has not provided sufficient services for refugees, it has been up to NGOs in Hungary to fill the gaps and ensure that refugees have what they need. These NGOs – including our JCC and the members of the Jewish community coalition – became the most important players in the efforts to assist Ukrainian refugees. Thanks to this joint effort, refugees received better accommodations, services, and necessities so that they could feel more human again.
Although we cannot give back to the refugees what they have lost, we have eased their pain and helped them to figure out the next steps in their journeys.