Carol Ratnam (centre), wife of the late Kelvin Ratnam z"l, received the 2021 UPJ Vatik Award on behalf of her late husband, from UPJ Treasurer Sally Castle (pictured left) last Shabbat at Temple Sinai in Wellington NZ. Joining in attendance were His Excellency Ran Jaakoby (pictured second from left), Israel Ambassador to NZ , and Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM, QSO, former Governor General of NZ (pictured right).
Artem (name changed for privacy) and his family are trying to flee Kyiv to Israel. Artem, a Reform cantor, converted to Judaism with his wife and daughter. The Russian invasion of Ukraine began before their Aliyah requests were fully processed. Under normal circumstances they would have been unable to make Aliyah or possibly even receive entry visas to Israel. The Progressive Movements Legal Aid Centre (LACO) helped Artem’s family acquire entrance visas.
Sarah Livschitz, a member of Temple Sinai in Wellington who is currently studying in the rabbinic program at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, wrote about her experience joining with Ukrainian refugees in Poland to celebrate Passover. Click on READ MORE to read Sarah's article.