This young Ukrainian family is marking 1 year in Canada—thanks to the Jewish community

Ukrainian refugees at Niagara Falls
Ukrainian refugees Inna Movchan, 24, and her husband Vitalii Shkarbun, 30, with their new daughter during an outing to Niagara Falls. (Submitted photo)

When the Russian invasion began a year ago on Feb. 24, 2022, newlyweds Inna Movchan and Vitalli Shkarbun were in Lviv, eagerly anticipating their wedding reception with more than 100 guests. Instead, as Russian shells started to fall, the party was cancelled, and the young couple found themselves in a long line of cars fleeing to safety.

They arrived in Toronto in April of last year. Since then, they’ve both found jobs and housing, thanks to the help of several Jewish communal social service agencies, including Jewish Vocational Services, the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services and the JRCC (Jewish Russian Community Centre), among others.

Movchan, 24, is now on parental leave with the couple’s first baby, a daughter, Yeva, who was born a few months ago. Shkarbun, 30, works full-time. They are both keeping a close eye on developments in the war, and also fundraising to help send supplies to the front lines and the wounded.

They join The CJN Daily to tell us how they’re coping with making Canada their new home, even while they worry about those they left behind.

What we talked about

  • How Canadian Jews are opening their hearts and wallets to help Ukrainian Jews, in The CJN.
  • Why three Montreal rabbis got on a plane in March 2022 to help Ukrainian refugees, in The CJN.
  • Read more about Inna and Vitalli’s fundraising efforts to help their families back in Ukraine.


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.