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News from the 19th Floor – At the JFR – March 2022

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News from the 19th Floor

Oksana Antipchuk
Oksana A. (Ukraine)
Vladimir Chernovol with his son
Vladimir Chernovol with his family


In anticipation of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctioning of Russian banks, the JFR sent $1,000 to all rescuers in Ukraine and Russia on February 7.  Rescuers were expecting to receive their award on March 26.  Rescuers in both countries received their awards.

The day of the invasion, February 24, we received an email from the family of Oksana Antipchuk, from Kiev, Ukraine. Please see below.

“Our dear friends, we are forced to turn to you for help in connection with the current situation in our country! We are at war, people are leaving their homes, looking for shelter, they are left without water and food.  Shops are closed.  Everyone is leaving for safe places indefinitely.  If there is any way to help our family financially, we will be very grateful to you.  Forgive us, with best wishes, Oksana Markovna Antipchuk’s family!  Peace to all of us and take care of yourself.”

Upon receiving the email, the JFR Board of Trustees immediately voted to send an additional $2,000 to each rescuer in Ukraine.  Three transfers were sent, via Western Union, to rescuers in different cities to see if the funds would be available for pick-up.  Oksana Antipchuk was one of the three rescuers who was sent a transfer.  Emails informing these three rescuers that an emergency award of $2,000 had been sent and asked them to let us know if they were able to pick-up their funds.  We heard back from one rescuer, Vladimir Chernovol.  He received his second emergency award of $2,000. He wrote:

Good afternoon. Received money today. Thank you very much.
V. Chernovol”

A JFR board member made calls to the other two rescuers. He was only able to get through to Oksana’s granddaughter. Below is what we learned.

“We spoke to Oksana Antipchuk’s granddaughter (her cell is the only number that worked). The entire family is in a bunker underground.  She says there is no place open to get money–no banks, no nothing.  Her father, Aleksandr, is currently in the military.”

We wanted you to have as full an understanding of the situation with rescuers in these countries.  We will keep you posted.  If you have questions, please email us at [email protected].


We continue to receive notes and cards from the rescuers. We wanted to share some with you – please click here.

Elena Z., Ukraine
Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds
Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds

The JFR and the Sousa Mendes Foundation are Sponsoring a Program on Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds – Sunday, March 6, 2022

Join us this Sunday, March 6 at 4:00 p.m. ET and 1:00 p.m. PT for a program on Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds.  Roddie Edmonds’ son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, and Stanlee Stahl, JFR Executive Vice President, will discuss the story of Master Sgt. Edmonds. The program is free, registration is required. Upon registering you will receive a link to the documentary and a password that will permit you to view the JFR’s award winning documentary on Master Sgt. Edmonds.

Click here for more information and to register for the program.


For those who celebrate Purim, which begins March 16th, or have family or friends who celebrate, the JFR is offering a Purim eCard. For a donation of $18 or more, you can send the eCard to ten email addresses. If you have any questions about the Purim eCard, please contact the JFR office at 973.736.1800. Click here to schedule your eCards in advance.


We hope you have been checking out our featured educators from across the country.  Last year, the JFR began featuring Alfred Lerner Fellows in a new series called “Fellows in Focus.”  Each Wednesday we highlight an outstanding educator!  Please check out the JFR’s Facebook page on Wednesday to learn about a terrific teacher.  Teachers who attend the JFR’s Summer Institute for Teachers are known as Alfred Lerner Fellows.

In March we are featuring:

Peter Mysels from Pittsburgh, PA – March 2
Julie Klein from Oak Park, IL – March 9
Stacia Dials from Mobile, AL – March 16
Nancy Hands from Cincinnati, OH – March 23
Haley Walker from Hoover, AL – March 30

Click here to see February’s Fellows in Focus.

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