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More than 400 of the over 900 refugees taken care of directly by the Jewish Community are children. With two excellent schools providing Jewish learning from kindergarten to high school, Vienna is well positioned to welcome Jewish children and teenagers who fled the war. The education provided by these institutions allows much needed structure after a long journey and often traumatizing experiences. Also, it serves as another example of a community working together under the umbrella of the IKG, helping Jews in need. 

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The Ukraine-Welcome-Classes established were staffed with Russian speaking teachers in order to ensure that the kid´s needs are met in every regard. Additionally, the community raised donations in order to provide backpacks, laptops and other material necessary to ensure that every child has the means to participate in the educational experience. 

The Jewish schools in Vienna are not only ideal learning environments but also allow students to connect with local peers in a child and teenager friendly environment. Since the first students joined in May 2022, friendships between children who have been living in Vienna their whole life and children who came here from Ukraine only a few weeks ago have been established. Especially those students who speak Russian at home due to their family originating from the Soviet Union, could communicate with their new friends with ease. Within this environment the children learn about the city they live in and learn German. Both the social embeddedness as well as the ability to navigate in society independently, especially by acquiring the language skills necessary, enables the younger generation of refugees to pursue their own path in these tumultuous times.   

To ensure that an ideal long-term learning environment can be provided, the IKG needs to hire teaching staff to educate young refugee students from the Ukraine. Furthermore, this crucial initiative provides parents with the time necessary to pursue their very own integration into Austrian society whether it is taking a language course at JBBZ or talking to a mental health professional at ESRA. 

As part of the consolidation phase this year, students are joining regular classes in order to pursue their studies. The community is aware of the hardships these children endure and with your help we will continue to support Jewish refugees in Vienna in all aspects of life.