Crisis in Ukraine: How Do We Talk About It And What Can We Do?

March 7, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is all over the news and social media today. As we, educators and our learners, are watching events unfold in real time, graphic images and stories are being posted over social media. We are already beginning to witness misunderstandings and tensions in our communities that need to be addressed - what is happening there right now? How can we help? What impact is this having on our communities, particularly for those closely connected to the situation? 

Remote video URL

This webinar featured two conversations to help us gain the context and tools to facilitate conversations about the current situation in Ukraine.

Part 1: We heard from two organizations, Razom for Ukraine, and Project Kesher, both working on the ground in Ukraine, about the situation there and ways we can help. 

Part 2: Steven Karaiskos, who is currently working with educators at Perchersk School in Kyiv, discussed how to talk to our learners and process the events in Ukraine. For a guide on doing so, click here

As a bonus, we had two Russian-Speaking Jewish (RSJ) college students from Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (Marks JCH), Daniel Price and Michael Shamilov, speak about what they are doing to organize on behalf of the situation in Ukraine and how this is personally impacting them. 

We left time for questions for all speakers as well. 

For educational resources on this topic, click here for the Resources in Teaching the Crisis in Ukraine collection.


Alina Bitel | Assistant Executive Director, COJECO


Maria Genkin







Maria Genkin | Board Member, Razom for Ukraine


Shira Pruce







Shira Pruce | Director of Development, Project Kesher


Headshot of Steven Karaiskos







Steven J. Karaiskos /  Senior Director of Community Education & Outreach with Samaritans


Headshot of Daniel Price







Daniel Price / Marks Jewish Community House


headshot of Michael Shamilov







Michael Shamilov / Marks Jewish Community House

Razom for Ukraine - Razom, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization supporting the people of Ukraine in their pursuit of a democratic society with dignity, justice, and human and civil rights for all. Razom coordinates groups of volunteers and fundraising efforts to build a prosperous Ukraine project by project.

Project Kesher - Project Kesher supports a large grassroots network of Jewish women leaders in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, and Israeli Russian­-speaking communities, as they advocate on behalf of women and girls, the Jewish community, and underserved populations in their region.

Sea Change Mentoring - Sea Change Mentoring offers clients a suite of services designed to meet the needs of international schools and organizations who serve international and multicultural students. Whether clients are working on mentoring and advisory programs, transitions support, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), or school climate, this suite of services provides them with the opportunity to evaluate their practice and strengthen their work. 

Steven J. Karaiskos, Ph.D., is a veteran educator and emotion scientist with over 22 years of experience. Steven’s knowledge has been built through active roles in district leadership, school administration, community organizations, direct classroom teaching, and social justice advocacy. Steven has trained and mentored educators in SEL, well-being, behavior management, classroom management, and support of students with learning differences. Steven serves as the Senior Director of Community Education & Outreach with Samaritans - a Boston-based suicide prevention and grief support organization. Steven facilitates the Coping After Suicide® national Teens Group and is a board member of Camp Kita - a summer program for 8-17-year-old suicide loss survivors. Steven also mentors and trains educators through consulting support with Millennium and Sea Change Mentoring. Steven earned his Ph.D. in Psychology with a research focus on positive psychological approaches to suicidal ideation following the loss of his partner, David, to suicide in 2009.

Daniel Price is currently a sophomore at Brooklyn College, studying Anthropology. He was raised in Bensonhurst but grew up in Manhattan. His parents, both Jewish, left Soviet Ukraine in 1988 and immigrated to the United States. his volunteer work at Marks Jewish Community House (Marks JCH) of Bensonhurst for includes working UJA-Federation's senior care team to translate for the elderly in south Brooklyn receiving COVID vaccinations, working in Kibbutznik, a Russian-language immersion program for Russian-speaking Jewish families and volunteering with WWII survivors in the community. "Involvement in your community is important because screaming into a bubble on social media does not help, being out there serving your community does."

Michael Shamilov is a Junior at Brooklyn College. He was born in the United Stated but his parents emigrated from Baku, Azerbaijan. Michael was raised Jewish and continues to be an active member of the Jewish community to this day. Currently, he works at Marks Jewish Community House (Marks JCH) of Bensonhurst, organizing and leading events for the teen department. He also facilitates the Volunteering Club and is planning their biggest event of the year, Mitzvah Day, an annual day of volunteering for 200+ teens. "My heart aches for everyone affected by this war. Slava Ukrainia❤️. "

This event was organized in partnership with COJECO (Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations) and JFNA (Jewish Federations of North America).




Contact Michaela Slutsky at with any questions or for more information.



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