A group of 140 Jewish refugee orphans and staff from Chabad’s Alumim orphanage in Zhitomir, Ukraine, arrived in the middle of the night in Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg) Romania after a grueling journey, where they were warmly welcomed by the Jewish community.

Rabbi Dovber Orgad and his wife, Fraidy, co-directors of Chabad of Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg), Romania, worked all night to prepare food and everything the refugees would need. “We’ll help them in every way possible until they can move on,” Orgadtold Chabad.org. The plan is to fly the group to Israel, but that may take time. This is just the beginning of a long journey, Orgad said from his home more than 200 miles southwest of the Ukrainian border.

The children and the Chabad emissaries accompanying them are being led by Malka Bukiet, Alumim’s director.

“Right now the children are watching a performance from a children’s entertainer in the community,” Orgad told Chabad.org Wednesday evening from Romania. “We’re keeping them entertained and making sure they’re not bored.” On Thursday, the children will travel into the city for a change of scenery and visit local playgrounds and other activities. “We’re trying to let them forget about the fighting and have some fun in their lives,” the rabbi says.

The massive humanitarian effort is being funded by concerned people from around the world, who have been contributing to Chabad-Lubavitch of Ukraine via Chabad.org’s Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund, as well as local community members in the affected areas. Orgad says that the accommodation for the Zhitomir group was secured by a community member who worked to obtain a special rate for the children.

In Zhitomir, Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, who stayed behind with his community, has one worry off his chest. “All the children are over the border,” he had said earlier. “It’s a miracle.”

The Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund has been established to help provide assistance to the Jewish communities in Ukraine impacted by the war.

Click here for a prayer you can say and a list of good deeds you can do in the merit of the protection of all those in harm’s way.

“Right now the children are watching a performance from a children’s entertainer in the community,” said Rabbi Dovber Orgad.. “We’re keeping them entertained and making sure they’re not bored.”
“Right now the children are watching a performance from a children’s entertainer in the community,” said Rabbi Dovber Orgad.. “We’re keeping them entertained and making sure they’re not bored.”
Fleeing war torn Ukraine took days instead of hours (Map: Google.maps)
Fleeing war torn Ukraine took days instead of hours (Map: Google.maps)
Rabbi Dovber Orgad and his wife, Fraidy, co-directors of Chabad of Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg), Romania welcomed the group.
Rabbi Dovber Orgad and his wife, Fraidy, co-directors of Chabad of Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg), Romania welcomed the group.
The children and staff enjoy a hot, kosher meal.
The children and staff enjoy a hot, kosher meal.
Rabbi Dovber Orgad kashers the hotel's kitchen in anticipation of the Jewish refugees' arrival.
Rabbi Dovber Orgad kashers the hotel's kitchen in anticipation of the Jewish refugees' arrival.