Editor’s Note: Rachel Peters traveled to Ukraine in May 2019 along with six other Susan and Mark Sisisky JDC Global Enrichment Fund Fellows. The following is a recent reflection.
By Rachel Peters
(A Shabbat reflection, written on February 25, 2022)
In three decades since the fall of Soviet Union, communities all over Ukraine have overcome a history of tragedy and hardship, lost identity, and forgotten culture.
They found freedom, experienced remarkable renewal, a rebirth of legacies, and a promise of hope for their future. A Peoplehood with great pride and with an invigorating zest for life that is simply contagious. Yet, just three years after my visit, terror is happening once again in the streets and in the lives of the Ukrainian people. On this Shabbat, I am confronted with the fragility of who we are, and the meaning of a lasting legacy.
We are taught– Kol Yiseral Erevim Zeh Bazeh, All of Israel are responsible for each other. For when we say Israel, we remember that we belong, we remember that belonging means helping, and when we help, we remember to never forget. Let us not forget the power of a connected community here and around the world. United for Ukraine. Standing with Ukraine.
Yad B’ Yad, Hand in Hand around the world.
In the photo at top, Rachel Peters enjoys painting with a “new friend” during a special workshop as a Sisisky Fello at the Jewish Golden Camp in D’nipro, Ukraine, in May 2019.
In these photos from past Reflectors, see some more of our Ukraine Friends.