Ukrainian Jews fire up generators as power grid pummeled

Jewish communities across southern Ukraine forced to power on emergency generators after large-scale attack

Based on an article by Itamar Eichner |

Ukrainian Jews have resumed using generators for electricity in recent days following recent series of attacks on major cities in the country.

Several power plants have been damaged, leaving large areas in cities like Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia and Khmelnytskyi without electricity. Kharkiv’s Jewish community reported that water supply was interrupted following the attack.

The large Jewish communities in Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Odesa have begun setting up and using generators brought last winter by the country’s FJC and Chabad-Lubavitch’s Jewish Relief Network Ukraine (JRNU).

Generators being operated in Kyiv (Photo: JRNU)

“These generators were intended for emergencies, and we thought the worst was behind us,” said Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz, Kharkiv’s chief rabbi and a Chabad emissary. “But suddenly, we now find ourselves back at the point where we started, just like at the beginning of the crisis.”

The Jewish community in Zaporizhzhia has also begun operating generators. Community members from all over the city rushed to the synagogue to warm up. “The attack was one of the most severe we have experienced here,” said Rabbi Nachum Ehrentreu, the city’s rabbi and Chabad emissary. “Thanks to the generators, the city’s Jews can maintain their joy in Purim, and we hope it will be the same for all of the city’s residents.”

Odesa experienced one of the most severe strikes. According to reports, dozens of missiles and 70 strike drones targeted the city in recent days. “We had a horrible night,” said Odesa’s chief rabbi and Chabad emissary Rabbi Avraham Wolff. “We started using the generators immediately. At home, in the synagogue, in schools, in kindergartens, in orphanages and in the nursing home.”

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