It’s hard to describe the relief we felt on hearing that all of our children and the adults from the Tikva community are now together under one roof in Romania, following their dangerous evacuation from Ukraine.
During the last two weeks, they have experienced trauma and distress that no human should ever have to – and their journey is far from over. As they adjust to their new reality, Tikva is helping in any way we can. We are working with London-based doctor David Spitzer, who landed in Romania along with two nurses this Wednesday, to provide urgent medical care for children who picked up illnesses during the journey to Moldova and those who have pre-existing conditions.
The needs of our community members will grow every day in the coming weeks – and we urgently need donations to support them at this incredibly challenging time.
Simultaneously, Tikva personnel are continuing to coordinate the evacuation of up to 8 bus-loads daily of any Ukrainian citizens desperate to get out of Ukraine.
We are delighted and relieved to inform you that shortly after 8pm (GMT) last night, after a gruelling 14 hours at the Ukranian border, 272 Tikva children and some carers, managed to get out of the country and escape into Romania.
These children came from our Infants’ Home, Girls’ Home and Boys’ Home. The crossing was extremely complex with many last minute scares and took ten hours longer than expected - but we can say that everyone on the buses is now safe.
In addition, we also managed to move our group of 300 from the Tikva community who had managed to get passage to Moldova into Romania - another very complicated logistical endeavour.
It is our intention that the two groups will reunite after Shabbat.
Jeremy Posen, our CFO, remains together with Rabbi Baksht in Western Ukraine, along with another 200 people, including the families from our community that fled with us from Odessa and additional families from Odessa and elsewhere who have joined us throughout the week. They will attempt a border crossing and hopefully join the rest of the group some time next week.
I want to thank everyone for their support so far - it has truly been the difference between life and death.
Whilst this is news a huge relief, there is a still a long road ahead. The costs involved in the crossing itself and the logistics surrounding that have been astronomical. We continue to rely on your generous support in order to be able to save lives.
Tikva has so far evacuated over 1000 children, young families and staff out of Odessa and are safe for now.
On Thursday night Tikva began an emergency evacuation of our orphans, students and alumni with families. Eight buses transported 300 university students and young alumni couples to Moldova.
On Friday, over 400 people, including all our children from our Orphanages boarded 14 buses and travelled for 33 plus hours making their way to safe ground in northwest Ukraine.
We are currently in the process of moving our alumni from Moldova to Romania. For various reasons we are not able to get our children under the age of 16 out of Ukraine for the moment. We have been in contact on a daily basis with various communities in need of help and we are doing all we can to assist in their evacuation needs. Tikva also continues to provide food packages, medication & necessities to the elderly community who have remained in Odessa.
Due to the difficulties of a war economy, costs of essential items - from generators to security, bedding to buses - are rising at alarming rates. Our costs are now at $2m. Please continue to give what you can. Thank you.
Tikva’s core mission is to care for the homeless, abandoned and abused Jewish children of Ukraine and neighbouring regions of the former Soviet Union. Tikva provides a warm, compassionate home, essential social services and a quality education, while revitalising the growing Jewish community of Odessa. Additionally, Tikva offers its graduates the opportunity for a brighter future through university education in Odessa or immigration to Israel, where Tikva continues its educational and support services.