Children in Ukraine who have been affected by the war find mentors in unexpected places

On his final night of reporting for Fox News, journalist Lucas Tomlinson discusses his most memorable experiences while covering Ukraine for Special Report.

NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! Read this article. Imagine yourself as a young child whose entire community, house, school, and way of life have all been ruthlessly destroyed by war.

Currently, many Ukrainian youngsters are suffering from this situation.

Many people have stepped up to support those in need; many did so at the onset and have continued to do so as the Russia-Ukraine war receives less attention than it once did.

A 5-year-old girl’s artwork at a summer camp in Warsaw, Poland, recently drew the attention of one of her counselors.
Why did she draw a heart in black and white rather than red or pink? questioned Rabbi Ilana Baird, according to the Associated Press.
People in Poland rushed into action on February 24 this year to welcome and aid migrants from the neighboring country when Russia invaded Ukraine.
It was black like the dog she left behind in Ukraine, the girl sighed, adding that.

Together with many other Jews from Russia or other former Soviet Union nations, California’s Rabbi Baird offered to assist Ukrainian refugee kids in the camp in Warsaw.

People with children wait after arrival from the Ukrainian city of Tokmak at a center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on May 2, 2022.

On May 2, 2022, people with children wait at a center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, after arriving from the city of Tokmak. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo)

The initiative, which ended this past Friday, was designed to help traumatized children in Poland prepare for the start of a new school year while also giving their suffering and overworked mothers some time to themselves.

The rabbi noticed another heart drawing after entertaining her group of 5- and 6-year-old campers with puppet shows, reading stories, painting many tiny faces, and giving many warm embraces.

Pink covered this one.
“Happiness,” the young woman said.

At the Kef Be Kayitz camp, whose Hebrew name translates to “fun in the summer,” Baird, 48, was delighted to notice that rainbows and joyful hues were also beginning to appear in the artwork of other kids in her charge.

A Ukrainian boy stands atop a depleted Russian military tank in Lyiv.

In Lyiv, a young Ukrainian youngster is perched atop a worn-out Russian military tank. The Fox News

The desire to help those in need, a principle that is universal and at the heart of Jewish religious beliefs, motivated the volunteers to take time off from their regular employment in the United States and go to Poland to work with Ukrainian youngsters.

“Jews have endured a lot of suffering throughout history. Pogroms, the Holocaust, and anti-Semitism were all things we endured “told the AP, Baird.
We feel obligated to assist those who are in need at this time.
And we feel compelled to assist those who are in need at the moment.
More refugees from the conflicts have been taken in by Poland than any other country.

Jewish groups both domestically and abroad got to work right once to address the most pressing issues, including as housing and feeding the Ukrainians, the majority of whom are women and children.

The camp at the Lauder Morasha School in Warsaw has served as an example of the kind of programming being created to address the shifting requirements of refugees as the war enters its sixth month.

A local resident walks next to a house that was destroyed in a Russian shelling in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.

In Kramatorsk, Ukraine, a citizen wanders close to a house that was obliterated by Russian bombardment. By Andriy Andriyenko for AP Photos

According to Helise Lieberman, director of the Taube Center for Jewish Life and Learning, many Ukrainians are aware they won’t be able to return home anytime soon or possibly ever.

Polish, English, and math courses were conducted in the mornings to help the kids better adjust to school.
While some Ukrainian immigrant mothers are gravely depressed, others need to hunt for work.

Many of the Ukrainian children who have been living in Poland since February have ended their own country’s school year but will begin attending Polish schools in September.

Afternoon activities for campers included athletics, arts and crafts, and tours to local parks and museums.

According to Marta Saracyn, the director of the Jewish Community Center of Warsaw, around a third of the 90 kids who attended the camp identify as Jewish.

According to Saracyn, “It’s a nice bubble for kids to be kids.”

Refugees with children walk after fleeing the war from neighboring Ukraine at a railway station in Przemysl, Poland, on March 22, 2022.

On March 22, 2022, refugees with children walk through a train station in Przemysl, Poland after leaving the conflict in the neighboring Ukraine. Sergei Grits/AP Photo

According to organizers, some of the Ukrainian refugee women need to hunt for work, while others are in a serious state of depression as a result of being cut off from their spouses and other family members back home.

Together with the Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and the American Joint Distribution Committee, the Taube Center and the Jewish Community Center of Warsaw organized the camp.

According to Hannah Miller, who oversees the volunteer program, the Jewish Federations of North America found approximately 90 educators and rabbinic figures who could speak Russian to assist Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Hungary. Ten of these individuals worked at the camp in Warsaw.

The rabbi answered, “You don’t have to be from Ukraine to help people. All you have to do is be human.
The 10 camp volunteers are either the offspring of Russian Jewish immigrants who fled the Soviet Union decades ago or immigrants themselves who speak Russian.

They generally spoke to the kids in Russian, which is also widely spoken throughout much of Ukraine, since just a few of them could speak Ukrainian.

When the youngster discovered she wasn’t from Ukraine, he grew upset, and Baird recalled painting the boy’s face.
He questioned her, “Why are you here?”

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, listens to a report about the front line in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, is shown in this image from the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, June 5, 2022, listening to a report about the front line in the Donetsk region. (AP, File) Ukrainian Presidential Press Office

The rabbi responded, “Because you don’t have to come from Ukraine to serve others. All you have to do is be human.

Similar to this, a group from the Upper East Side of Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El congregation recently journeyed to the border of Ukraine and Poland to witness the hardship and tribulation of displaced Ukrainians, to console them, and to watch relief operations on their behalf.

The goal was to spread faith, compassion, caring, and generosity.

On Memorial Day weekend, when most Americans were just starting to enjoy the start of summer, a delegation from Temple Emanu-El, the largest Reform Jewish congregation in New York City, decided to visit Ukraine.

“Together we will bring much-needed goods, offer consolation to those fleeing the violence, and bear witness both to the pain and to the tremendous efforts of the agencies offering assistance from that suffering,” Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson said to his congregation before to the expedition.

Rabbi Joshua Davidson described a special mission to the Ukraine border recently to his congregation in New York City during a Friday evening service.

During a recent Friday night service in New York City, Rabbi Joshua Davidson spoke to his audience about a unique journey to the Ukrainian border. (Temple Emanu-El of Manhattan)

According to Martin Bell, one of the travelers on the mission, the party from Temple Emanu-El brought duffel bags packed with donated goods from temple members for the desperate Ukrainians who have fled for their safety.

Bell recently told Fox News Digital that wherever the group traveled, they saw the humanitarian operations that had been “initiated initially by ordinary Poles” and were still being carried out to aid the displaced Ukrainians, most of whom were women and children.

Additionally, “we undertook the voyage” in order to observe the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

He stated: “The portion about bearing witness is what everyone in our group and I found to be the most compelling. That may be somewhat a Jewish response in a society where there are Holocaust denialists “help Bell.

We wanted to visit so that we could return and share what we saw with others.
“It’s a tale that needs to be shared. It’s a tale that needs to be shared “As Fox News Digital had earlier reported, he added.
At a recent Friday night temple ceremony, Rabbi Davidson explained the goal to the congregation by saying, “We made the trek to provide relief.”

But we also created it to serve as a testament to the agony of the Ukrainian people in a world that all too frequently not only ignores but also allows human sorrow to be completely erased from history.

“We only know that bearing testimony is a sacred duty from our own experience.”
This article included reporting from The Associated Press.
Fox News Digital’s managing editor for lifestyle is Maureen Mackey. Send your story suggestions to @maurmack on Twitter.

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