Overcoming Obstacles to Celebrate Shavuot

JUNE 6TH 2024

Refrigerated trucks are delivering pallets of special ice cream, cheese, and yogurt all across Ukraine, in preparation for the holiday of Shavuot.

This year, the Jewish communities will receive a large assortment of flavors, thanks to the determination and dedication of Rabbi Vyshetsky of Kyiv who has been producing kosher dairy items for a quarter of a century:  “We’ve been in a complex routine for over two years, and it’s not getting easier,” explains Rabbi Vyshetsky. “The difficulties constantly change. Initially, the challenge was starting everything from scratch, and later on, there were constant power outages that severely disrupted the production line. Currently, there is a significant difficulty in recruiting workers. We are operating with a very minimal workforce.”

Rabbi Vyshetsky is no stranger to overcoming obstacles: “Over the years, we have faced many challenges in producing kosher milk. When the crisis began in 2014, the production line was damaged, and it took us a year and a half to rebuild the kosher certification system in Kyiv. With G-d’s help, we managed to restore the line, expand, and increase the selection.” And then, in 2022 the second wave of problems came: “In the initial period of the crisis, the production of dairy products was completely halted. Only around Shavuot last year did we gradually start to restore the production line. Every two weeks, we produced basic products like milk, sour cream, and yogurt.”

As time went on, the production line expanded. “Recently, we moved to a larger, more spacious factory, and we even introduced three new products: Adyghe cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sulguni cheese. In addition, there are new ice cream flavors, especially for children, in honor of Shavuot. The production line also includes products that were absent throughout the recent period, such as dulce de leche and whipped cream.”

Using a fleet of refrigerated trucks, JRNU staff and volunteers are delivering tens of thousands of products, to cities, towns and remote villages in the country: “Knowing that there is a Jew almost twenty hours’ drive away from me, within our country, receiving a kosher dairy product for Shavuot, brings great satisfaction and joy knowing that we managed to meet our goal,” concludes Rabbi Vyshetsky.

This year the Jews of Ukraine will celebrate Shavuot with delicious dairy treats, making for a joyous and special holiday, even with the ongoing challenges they face.

With your help, we continue to save lives and restore hope.

Together, we Save Lives and Restore Hope!

Shlomo Peles
Executive Director
Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki
Dnipro, Ukraine
Rabbi Pinchas Vishedsky
Kyiv, Ukraine
Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm
Zhitomir, Ukraine
Rabbi Avraham Wolff
Odessa, Ukraine