Throughout 2022, 15 JN issues, or nearly 30%, have featured content regarding Ukraine.

This year, one story has dominated our pages more than any other and that is the war in Ukraine, which began with the Russian invasion of the country on Feb. 24, 2022.

Since then, the war has caused unimaginable destruction, death and human misery.

As of press time, there were an estimated 40,000 dead and 15,000 missing in Ukraine; 100,000 soldiers have died on each side; 14 million Ukrainians were displaced — the majority women and children; and 140,000 buildings destroyed.

As the cold weather began to set in, Russian missiles targeted critical Ukrainian infrastructure with the goal of leaving Ukrainians without water, heat and electricity during the winter.

Throughout 2022, 15 JN issues, or nearly 30%, have featured content regarding Ukraine.

Our first story came on March 3, an opinion piece by Ellen Ginsberg Simon, “The Hero We Didn’t Know We Needed,” about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The following week, “Standing with Ukraine,” was on our cover. The story talked about the local Jewish response to the war and our community’s connections to Ukraine. There was also a story about the Ukrainian Emergency Fund, initiated by the Jewish Federation with national partners, JDC, JAFI and World ORT.

Throughout the year, we also featured stories on Ukrainian natives, such as Vladimir Gendelman, who was preoccupied with his employees trapped in Ukraine; Sam Rozenberg, co-founder of the SHARE Ukraine online platform; and Jenny Feterovich, a Soviet Jewish immigrant who organized a global network to send supplies to the Ukrainian people.

On March 31 and June 2, the JN featured two cover stories: “War Through the Rearview Mirror,” which showed life on the ground with Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Poland, and “Dispatch from Dnipro,” one woman’s story of escaping — and surviving — the bombing of Kharkiv, Ukraine, written by Iana Syrotnikova, and translated by Contributing Writer Ashley Zlatopolsky, her cousin.

Throughout the year, the JN provided community updates, such as those from Federation’s Jennifer Levine and Steven Ingber, who shared their “boots on the ground” first-person perspectives, as did Yulia Gaydayenko, a JFS social worker who shared “Witness to War,” a cover story about her experience helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

This year, we featured several stories about efforts from synagogues, nonprofits and community groups determined to help the Ukrainian people.

We also shared stories about local people wanting to make a difference, such as Oded “Ody” Norkin from Okemos, delivering ambulances to Ukraine; former U-M student Dustin Ross, who launched the nonprofit Sunflower Network to channel supplies to Ukraine; and businessman Ethan Gross, who organized an event to raise awareness and funds for this humanitarian disaster.

To all the people, organizations, volunteers and donors in Metro Detroit who continue their efforts to help the victims of an unjust war, we salute you as our Newsmakers of the Year. The JN will continue to highlight your efforts, and to pray, God willing, for an end to this conflict.

DJN Foundation Archivist Mike Smith contributed to this story.

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