Rabbi Avraham Wolff, Chief Rabbi of Odessa and Southern Ukraine, has decided that this year "We will add extra chairsto our family Seders and invite to our home Jews who would have no Seder otherwise — whether it be refugees from Ukraine who have no place for Seder or even old neighbors who do not hold a Seder of their own. Let every home of the Nation of Israel host one more Jew this year, and we will proudly hold our unity as a nation together, and receive God’s blessing as we say to G‑d “Bless us our Father, all of us as one.” Through our unity, let us celebrate “next year in Jerusalem.”
In February, the Portuguese Jewish community sent emergency help to Odessa, consisted of the purchase of medical gear, protective equipment, and basic necessities to its Ukrainian brothers who were facing the danger of war in their country.That danger was confirmed when the Russian military invaded Ukraine and now Odessa is a main target.
Rabbi Avraham Wolff says "Throughout more than a month of these difficult days, we managed to evacuate almost 2,000 men, women and children from the city of Odessa and its surrounding areas. It may be challenging, but I am proud that we, the rabbis of Ukraine, have won. The emissaries of the Rebbe are here, saving lives in such a beautiful way. Here in Odessa, we continue to assist and support the 8,000 elderly men and women who have stayed here in fear of leaving their homes, and provide them with food, in addition to delivering essential life-saving medications which are almost impossible to find in Ukraine. We are continuing to assist more than 20,000 members of the Jewish community who have stayed and who still need us for community life. From daily prayers, brit milot and weddings to, G‑d forbid, funerals and Jewish burials, we continue to support them. The heart of the Jewish people is awake, and each and every one of us is supporting and helping our fellow Jews in need in the ways we can."