Yulia Karra
September 14, 2023

The Israeli Trauma Coalition (ITC) last week opened a new resilience center in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, which has been ravaged by war in the past year and a half. 

Founded in 2001 as a UJA Federation of NY initiative, the ITC specializes in treatment of trauma and emergency preparedness in Israel and around the world — before, during and after a crisis. The coalition provides counseling, direct trauma care, trains professional therapists, offers emergency services and establishes resilience centers that provide guidance and resources.

The new resilience center joins four others the ITC has opened throughout Ukraine — in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi. 

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska expressed her gratitude to the ITC and other Israeli humanitarian organizations working in Ukraine for “contributing to dissemination of the knowledge regarding mental assistance.”

Zelenska wrote in a statement that the questions of how to survive and live on with injuries and PTSD, without family and home, “Israeli experts can answer, as their country has been under shelling for years.”

Max Goldenberg, ITC head of international training, and Alex Gershanov, director of content development and training in the coalition’s programs in Ukraine, took part in the inauguration of the new center.

CEO of the Israeli Coalition for Trauma Talia Levanon added: “We have a great privilege to share our knowledge and experience in the field of trauma care with the professionals in Ukraine. The Israeli reality has made us a leading country in knowledge of trauma care and building resilience — knowledge that we are working to share with countries that need it, including Ukraine, Turkey that is recovering from the great earthquake, and other countries.” 

Since the outbreak of the war with Russia in February 2022, dozens of ITC members have been operating throughout Ukraine, training around 4,000 Ukrainian professionals in methods of intervention and treatment of trauma cases.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved an extension of humanitarian aid for Ukrainian citizens who have fled to Israel until the end of 2023. The extension includes continued provision of medical care for lifesaving treatments.

Several weeks ago, Ukrainian officials threatened to ban Israeli pilgrims from entering the Ukrainian city of Uman — the burial place of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov — if the health insurance for refugees is axed. 

Thousands of Hasidic pilgrims travel to Uman each year on Rosh Hashana to celebrate the Jewish new year.

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