Adrian Maydanich, 17, would halt in his tracks every time he passed a grocery store shelf filled with kosher for Passover items in his neighborhood of Baltimore. He kept thinking about how tough it would be for Jews in Ukraine to find even the most basic Passover necessities this year as Russia’s assault on the country continues.
The Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School junior and an Owings Mills, Maryland resident told JNS, “I understood that Jews across Ukraine would face many challenges just to celebrate a Passover seder with their families.
The call was answered by the son of immigrants from Lviv and Kyiv who had endured discrimination and persecution in the former Soviet Union and a challenging voyage to America.
“I felt compelled to contribute as a first-generation American from a Ukrainian Jewish family. After all, that may have been me, the teen said.
Hence, I launched an initiative called Jews4Ukraine to allow particular humanitarian groups to buy and transport Passover essentials to Jewish congregations around Ukraine.
To provide 1,100 Ukrainian Jews with Passover meals, Maydanich has so far gathered more than $20,000. He collaborated with the Jewish Relief Network Ukraine, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in Ukraine that receives help from numerous organizations worldwide.
He claimed he could be sure that all the money generated would be used to provide meals for the Passover seder to congregations around the struggling nation.
“My family celebrates our victories over difficulty and the realization of our American Dream, and we are proud of our ancestry and religion,” added Maydanich. We never forget our past challenges; we constantly think back on them and strive to bring comfort and hope to others in need. I cherish my family’s accomplishments and humanitarian endeavors, feel a solid connection to my Ukrainian and Jewish roots, and want to uphold these beliefs through my work to feed Jews in Ukraine at Passover.
Jewish Relief Network Ukraine’s COO, Judi Garrett, stated that Maydanich’s initiatives match the organization’s core values.
“We commemorate our freedom from tyranny and the start of new life on Passover, one of the holiest Jewish holidays. For the Jews of Ukraine, this holiday is sad as the war continues,” she remarked. “On behalf of the 50,000 people we support in Ukraine, thank you, Adrian! ”