Hillel Kharkiv Begins to Rebuild



June 22, 2022

Two man stand at a workbench in front of a partially destroyed Hillel sign

Instead of celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this spring, the students and staff of Kharkiv Hillel are working tirelessly to repair their space that was heavily damaged by bombing during the war in Ukraine this spring. Volunteers are coming together to rebuild the Hillel building that previously housed 600 Jewish students and young professionals after it was reduced to rubble.

Alongside the building repairs, members of the Kharkiv Hillel community are restoring hope that the building will once again be a joyful Jewish home in Ukraine. Olena Khalina, the Hillel Kharkiv Event Manager, says “I am counting down the days until I can come to my home in Hillel Kharkiv. To create, to inspire, to hug my friends, to have Shabbat dinner together, and to live my normal life again.”

To honor their strength, resilience, and commitment to protecting and promoting Jewish life on campus, the American Jewish Committee awarded Kharkiv Hillel the Sharon Greene Award for Campus Advocacy. You can hear from additional members of the Hillel Kharkiv community and watch the inspiring award announcement video.

Hillel International is committed to supporting Jewish students, Ukrainian Hillels, and Hillel staff affected by the ongoing crisis. Launched as a response to the war, Hillel International’s Emergency Relief Fund has raised over $1 million to support Hillel students, their families, and professionals affected by the war in Ukraine. The fund supplies life-saving resources to Ukrainian refugees, provides Hillels throughout the region with supplies to create temporary housing in Hillel spaces, and funds Hillel operations during a time where community is much needed. 

Thanks to the support of the global Hillel community who generously supported the Emergency Relief Fund, Hillel International is able to provide funds to Hillel Kharkiv as they begin their process of rebuilding.