FJC ‘Mishpacha’ refugee orphans from Odessa saved in Moldova

The FJC’s rescue mission was helped by the Israeli embassy and Chabad worldwide and funded by the  Fellowship.

CHISINAU, Moldova – More than 100 children made it out of Ukraine on Wednesday, thanks to a military-style operation that beat all the odds.

Many of the children live in FJC’s Mishpcha orphanage in Odessa and the rest were sent by their parents, who stayed behind to help younger children or elderly parents.

The children – the youngest of whom is only 37 days old – left Odessa at 7 a.m. on four buses and arrived in Chisinau by 5 p.m. – a trip that normally takes three hours. But the roads are packed with cars full of refugees fleeing Ukraine and 40 of the kids, including the newborn, were not carrying documents.

For now, they will go to Berlin, where Chabad Rabbi Yehuda Tiechtel will look after them, hoping the situation in Ukraine will end soon and that the children can return.

Daniel Svechnikov, 16, from Odessa, left behind his mother, who is taking care of his five-year-old brother, who has special needs.

“She is worried about me but she told me it was right to leave,” Svechnikov said. “I was scared because I heard bombs near my home. At the border, I saw so many cars and people walking. Police helped us through traffic, and thank G-d we’re here.

Shoshana Khusid, 18, said her parents stayed behind to take care of her grandmother. She took her little brother and sister with her.

“It is very hard,” she said. “I was afraid because there were a lot of noisy sirens. From the first day of the war, I knew in my head that I had to go.”

The FJC’s rescue mission was helped by the Israeli embassy and Chabad worldwide and funded by the Fellowship thanks to donations by friends of Israel in the United States and Canada.

The grant is being transferred to Jewish organizations in the field and is assisting the Jewish community with food, medicine, emergency hotlines, evacuation, fuel, and generators.

Based on an article by GIL HOFFMAN | The Jerusalem Post
Zvika Klein in Warsaw contributed to this report.

Photo: Jewish Orphans who were smuggled today from Odessa to Chisinau in a special rescue operation by FJC and the IFCJ seen in Chisinau, Moldova, March 2, 2022.

(photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)

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