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Henderson rabbi part of delegation to Poland to help refugees fleeing Ukraine

Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 22:46:09-04

HENDERSON (KTNV) — A Henderson rabbi is part of a special delegation heading to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees. 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean had a chance to speak with him and one of the organizers just days before they head out. They talked about their mission and also how you at home can help.

"The most important thing is bearing witness," says Rabbi Sanford Akselrad, spiritual leader at Congregation Ner Tamid on Valle Verde and 215 in Henderson.


Akselrad is part of a group of 27 rabbis, cantors and others heading to Poland to deliver aid to Ukrainian refugees. He's encouraging all Las Vegans to do their part.

"This is a time to pay attention because what's happening with these people really affects the entire world," Akselrad said. "There is something that we can do. May not change the whole world. But if we help one or two or three people, we change their world."

While in Poland, he'll be handing out toiletries, medication, candy bars and teddy bears for children and so much more.

"So we're giving all the medical supplies, all that, but just a face of kindness in a world that they now find cruel. Give them a little bit of hope," Akselrad said.

The trip was arranged through the Jewish Community Center of Krakow, Poland, which is providing 10,000 meals to refugees every day. Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of Florida is an organizer, working in conjunction with J2 Adventures, a Jewish travel group.

"What is the number one need of the refugees right now?" asks Tricia.

"I want to say number one, we're bringing supplies. We are bringing almost 2 tons of supplies," Salkin said.

Along with those supplies, this special delegation has raised more than $500,000 in donations. Rabbi Salkin is challenging everyone to do their part.


"This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since the end of World War II. What are you going to do when your children and grandchildren ask you, 'what did you do'?" Salkin said.

Rabbi Akselrad agrees and says everyone can help.

"So many different charities. Pick one. Pick one that you have faith in. It could be your church, could be your synagogue, could be your mosque. It could be American Red Cross. All of these organizations are coming to the fore to say, we're going to help, we're going to make a difference," Akselrad said.

Rabbi Akselrad and the group will be in Poland from April 10 through 14.

13 Action News will follow up with the rabbi about his trip when he's back.