Dr. Michael Margolin’s First Person article on his trip to Ukraine (“Extending our Jewish responsibilities,” May 31), shows a fascinating experience about daily life in a very poor and needy country. Jewish Federation of Greater Metro West NJ goes to great lengths to visit Jews in need of help living in Ukraine who lack basic resources and insight into their Jewish background. Margolin’s trip gave me perspective on Jewish life in Ukraine and has inspired me to hopefully visit one day. It speaks to me because my grandparents are Holocaust survivors who used to live in Ukraine, or what used to be called Hungary. The number of Jews where my grandparents used to live remains around 200,000, which is an incredible amount considering what happened during the Holocaust and Soviet rule.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has brought great hope to many like me who haven’t forgotten about Jews living abroad. The fact that kids can celebrate Jewish holidays and family simchas together as one community, shows that with the smallest amount of Jewish knowledge, teens can express pride in their Jewish heritage.