Concern for orphans in Odessa homes

Omid Djalili is at the heart of a selfie

Omid Djalili is at the heart of a selfie

The impact of the volatile situation in Ukraine on the Tikva homes in Odessa for abandoned or at-risk Jewish youngsters was highlighted at a dinner held by Tikva UK at the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square, which raised over £1 million.

Earlier in the day, 600 children, students and staff had been evacuated from the homes to a campsite outside of Odessa because of warnings of increased violence in the area over the weekend. The plight of Jewish orphans in Ukraine was conveyed by Arabella Spiro and Daniella Loftus. Tikva CEO Rabbi Refael Kruskal gave an update on the situation in Ukraine.

For light relief, the 250 guests - among them Caprice and Mitch Winehouse - were entertained by actor and comedian Omid Djalili.

Tikva UK executive director Karen Bodenstein said: "The fact that the dinner fell on the same day as an emergency evacuation of our orphanages only goes to show how the situation in the Ukraine is changing all the time. Our help is more important now than ever before and because of the generosity of our donors, we are delighted to be able to save even more Jewish children from lives of poverty, homelessness and abuse."

    Last updated: 9:45am, May 19 2014