דניאל ואנטון מתחבקים
Brothers Daniel and Anotn
Photo: Chabad Odesa
Rabbi Avraham Wolf and Anton

Jewish Ukrainian orphaned children find refuge in Chabad house

Chabad orphanage in Odesa, now operating in Berlin, saved 124 children from atrocities of war in Ukraine; chief rabbi says number of abandoned children growing by the day

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 08.01.22, 22:41
The Chabad orphanage in the Ukrainian city of Odesa - which relocated to Berlin due to the raging war in Ukraine - in recent days received four Jewish orphan children after the Ukrainian court transferred their legal custody to the hands of Odesa chief Rabbi and Chabad Emissary Avraham Wolf who brought them to safety.
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  • Anton, who is just a year and a half old, was spotted wandering alone in the streets of Odesa. The security forces that found him searched for his mother who disappeared but couldn't find her.
    3 View gallery
    הרב אברהם וולף עם אנטון
    הרב אברהם וולף עם אנטון
    Rabbi Avraham Wolf and Anton
    (Photo: Chabad Odesa)
    The police estimated the mother was killed, and Anton was transferred to the city's custody. After Rabbi Wolf obtained photographs of the child's birth certificates and the mother's and grandmother's birth certificates, he discovered he was Jewish. Wolf was also able to locate Anton's brother, 3-year-old Daniel, and he transferred the two to the Odesa Chabad orphanage which now operates in Berlin.
    It is unknown what happened to the children's father, and it is estimated that he disappeared long before the mother.
    Thus far, the Chabad orphanage was able to save not less than 120 children orphans and move them to Germany. Rabbi wolf continues to help orphans who were born into this brutal reality, and protect them from the atrocities of the war and the Russian rockets.
    Rabbi Wolf established the orphanage independently, and he runs it with his wife, Rabbi Haya.
    3 View gallery
    דניאל ואנטון מתחבקים
    דניאל ואנטון מתחבקים
    Brothers Daniel and Anton hugging
    (Photo: Chabad Odesa)
    Another new child that joined the orphanage was 12-year-old Misha from Irpin, which had been destroyed by the Russian bombings. He and his mother managed to escape, but the harsh and traumatic images made it difficult for the mother to raise him and to continue to care for his needs. Now he's with his new friends in Berlin.
    "I thank the Jewish community in Berlin led by Rabbi Yehuda Tichtel, for the moral assistance and the aid to the refugees," Rabbi wolf said. "Unfortunately, the orphan phenomenon, the images of abandoned and miserable children only grow these days throughout Ukraine. But we are well-prepared to accept them and move them to safety immediately."
    Rabbi Wolf also said that many Chabad Rabbis from all across war-torn Ukraine contact him to ask him to accept more children.
    3 View gallery
    קבלת פנים ליתומים שהצטרפו
    קבלת פנים ליתומים שהצטרפו
    A welcoming party to the new orphans
    (Photo: Chabad Odesa)
    His wife, Rabbi Haya Wolf said "Anton joins his 124 friends, some like Misha, just arrived in recent days from the shelling in Ukraine. Unfortunately, some have experienced horrors, which require psychological and psychiatric treatments, and we have no idea yet how deep and irreversible their mental damage is."
    "We do everything we can to support them, heal their mental wounds and ease the situation for them as much as possible in order for them to return to a healthy normal life. I'm glad we have the privilege of giving these children, who have been through terrible suffering, a new, hopefully, better life full of warmth and love, with the help of God."
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