Covenant Place Tenant Council donates $1,000 to Federation to support Ukraine relief efforts

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Covenant Place II Cahn Building Ribbon Cutting

Just days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Covenant Place resident, Ruth Mariam, contacted Covenant Place President & CEO, Joan Denison, expressing her desire to help. Mariam, in her 90s, recalled how when her family members went to fight in World War II, “We didn’t know how bad it was, we didn’t see it on TV.” She acknowledged the many Ukrainian and Russian refugees who reside at Covenant Place and how their families might be affected. “These are our neighbors and friends. What can we do? How can we be sure if we send money that it will help the people?”

The Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) was already working to address the challenge of evacuating families from Ukraine to Israel and getting people needed supplies. The day Mariam called the Jewish Federation of St. Louis was distributing information about how to send funds to JFNA to support their work in Ukraine. Denison assured Mariam that funds would be appropriately used.

Mariam took her request to Covenant Place Tenant Council President Dee Wolf, who brought the issue to the council for consideration. The Tenant Council raises funds throughout the year through the sale of tributes and other activities. These funds support special programs and events that they independently plan and facilitate, a long-held tradition at Covenant Place.

Over the past two and a half years, there had been no events due to COVID. The Tenant Council held a meeting and voted to donate $1,000 to Federation to support the people of Ukraine.

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“A lot of people come from that area — my mother did,” said Wolf. “A lot of people still have family there. We see it’s a terrible situation and feel it is our duty to help.”

“How could anyone refuse to help what’s going on, to help people,” said Mariam. “We say ‘never again’ and it’s here again. To know what people went through during the Holocaust and here we are again.”