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(Washington, D.C., April 12, 2022)–A volunteer team from B’nai B’rith International recently returned from Poland, where they provided on-the-ground humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees. Andrea Cure, B’nai B’rith director of development; Edyta Szemiel, chief financial officer of B’nai B’rith; and Alina Bricman, B’nai B’rith director of EU Affairs, traveled to multiple cities across Poland and worked with other organizations to provide vital aid to the millions of Ukrainian refugees flowing over the border.

Cure and Szemiel arrived first in Warsaw, where they assisted at a crisis center for Jewish Ukrainian refugees set up by the Jewish Community of Warsaw, purchasing much-needed supplies and providing B’nai B’rith teddy bears, bags and activity packs for children. 

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help in even the smallest ways,” Cure said. “To hand a weary mom a cup of tea in a train station, to give a B’nai B’rith bear to a little boy who had to leave all his toys behind—these little interactions and exchanges were meaningful beyond words.” 

In Przemyśl, Bricman, Cure and Szemiel volunteered at a train station and a humanitarian aid center, one of the first major centers refugees encounter after crossing into Poland. In a live update with B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin, Cure shared the scene on the ground, describing thousands of Ukrainian refugees lining up for food, strollers, clothes, health care supplies and other necessities. Szemiel, who is originally from Poland, was able to help with translations from Polish and Russian. 

At the Medyka border, Cure and Szemiel worked in a humanitarian aid “village,” where volunteers from around the globe convened to assist refugees. Partnering with the Israeli organization Rescuers Without Borders, the B’nai B’rith team was able to procure diesel fuel to power generators providing heat to a tent for mothers and children, set up by the humanitarian aid organization United Sikhs. The team also delivered baby food, diapers and other necessities to the camp. 

The B’nai B’rith team also worked with a community organization in Krakow to provide essentials to refugees and with Rescuers Without Borders to send items into Ukraine to help people sheltering there. 

“It’s what B’nai B’rith has always done—helped people when they need it most,” Cure said. 

B’nai B’rith continues to work with aid teams in Ukraine and at various border crossings to assess and meet immediate and longer-term needs. 

Our Ukraine Assistance Fund is open for donations.

B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit