As we look back over the month of March I know our hearts and minds have been focused on the terrible war unfolding before our eyes in Ukraine. Now, as we look forward we are getting prepared for Passover.

Scenes of destruction and heart-wrenching loss frame our thoughts as we witness thousands of Ukrainians – Jews and non-Jews alike – fleeing for their lives whilst their homes and communities are destroyed ….

Scenes of redemption and deliverance frame our thoughts as we contemplate the miraculous exodus from Egypt when our ancestors were delivered out of slavery into freedom!

One image is full of loss and hopelessness, the other is a picture of a new dawn, one full of hope and a bright future.

As I have contemplated this I have been struck that just as HaShem went to extraordinary measures to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, another extraordinary deliverance has been taking place in the Ukraine – Jewish and Christian organisations have been working round the clock, sometimes even overtly, in order to locate and deliver Ukrainian Jews out of the war-torn region and in to the safety of Israel.

There may be thousands of years between the two acts of deliverance……but the journey and the destination remain the same – Israel. Our promised land. The ancient and eternal homeland of our people.

We may be experiencing conflicting emotions as we think about the war in Ukraine and the upcoming festivities of Passover but let us consider one common thread – Israel.

For our ancestors, Israel was the destination after the bondage and misery of Egypt. For our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine, Israel is the destination after the horror and devastation of war in their country.

WIZO South Africa will never lose sight of the centrality and significance of Israel. We are, after-all, the Women’s International Zionist Organisation and we keep Zionism and Israel at the core of all we do. We will diligently work to support Israel and our life-changing WIZO projects that bring hope and healing to the vulnerable and broken in Israeli society.

In these difficult days it is my prayer that the light and hope of Passover will illuminate the darkness and that freedom and deliverance will be found for all.