FOX News: NYC temple members travel to Ukraine border to bring comfort and ‘bear witness’

July 5, 2022

From May 26 to May 30, 2022, Temple Emanu-El organized a Humanitarian Mission to Poland and the Ukrainian Border, during which the Emanu-El community answered conscience’s call, bringing much needed supplies, showing comfort to those fleeing the war, and bearing witness both to their suffering and the extraordinary efforts of the agencies offering relief from that suffering. FOX News published a feature article on the trip, including quotes from Rabbi Joshua Davidson and members Martin Bell and Wendy Gerber.

“The part about bearing witness — that’s what really resonated with me and with everyone in our group. In part, that’s maybe a Jewish reaction in a world where there are Holocaust deniers,” said Bell. “We wanted to go there so that we could then come back and tell other people what we saw.”

“It’s a story that should be told. It’s a story that must be told,” he also said.

“For each of us who made this journey, the experience was a profound one,” said Rabbi Davidson, “in ways we anticipated it would be — and in ways we did not.”

July 31, 2022

FOX News and the Associated Press have published an update to the piece, Children traumatized by war in Ukraine find mentors from unexpected places, quoting Rabbi Joshua Davidson and temple member Martin Bell.

Similarly, an extraordinary journey to bear witness to the struggle and strife of displaced Ukrainians — and to comfort them as well as observe relief efforts on their behalf — took place recently when a group from Temple Emanu-El’s congregation on the Upper East Side of Manhattan traveled to the border of Ukraine and Poland.

The mission was one of faith, compassion, care and giving.

When most Americans were just beginning to embrace the beginning of summer on Memorial Day weekend, the group from Temple Emanu-El — New York City’s leading Reform Jewish congregation — traveled to Ukraine instead.

As Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson told his congregation ahead of the mission, “Together we will bring much-needed supplies, offer comfort to those fleeing the war — and bear witness both to the suffering and to the extraordinary efforts of the agencies offering relief from that suffering.”