LA-based business owner with Ukrainian roots holds ‘Peace Jam’ for Ukraine

Los Angeles small business owner organizes ‘Peace Jam’ for Ukraine

The “Peace Jam for Ukraine” was held at the New York Bagel Cafe, owned by Daveed Meiron. 

A Los Angeles-based bagel shop owner with Ukrainian roots held a "Peace Jam" for Ukraine Sunday to help raise money for those impacted by Russia’s military invasion. 

Daveed Meiron, owner of New York Bagel Cafe, spoke with Fox Business after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear deterrent forces on an elevated alert status as his forces encircled the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. 

Peace Jam for Ukraine (Daveed Meiron)

Meiron, whose grandmother was originally from Odessa, said the crisis was not "specifically Ukrainian" but "specifically humanitarian." 

"Now we have another tyrannical leader who is affecting not just human beings in another part of the world. This has a trickle effect on everybody," he said. "This is like a domino effect that will literally impact all future generations. And if people think this is just somewhere across the ocean and across borders, they’re sadly mistaken." 

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a journalist’s question during a joint news conference with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.  (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP)

Meiron called Russian President Vladimir Putin "unhinged," but he said he still believes "everyone has the power to do something" about the crisis. 

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"Speak out in a way that is unabashed and with integrity and letting people know that they also can care," he said. 

On Sunday afternoon, local musicians came to play at Meiron’s shop for a "Peace Jam for Ukraine." Patrons were able to support Ukraine by donating money through a QR code.  

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A patron donating money to help support Ukraine. 

One of those patrons, a friend of Meiron’s, was Anton Zotov, a 44-year-old Ukrainian expat from Kyiv. Zotov has lived in the United States for four years, working in the tech industry, but has many friends and family members still in Ukraine. 

"It’s hard to even believe that this is happening … the level of ruthlessness and the level of cynicism of the Russian government was just shocking," Zotov told Fox Business in an interview. "From a psychological perspective it was very hard to believe because we used to have a lot of friends in Russia … there are a lot of ties and a lot of commonality in the culture." 

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But Zotov said he has been overwhelmed by the support he’s seeing from Americans and around the world. 

"The level of support and the awareness of the American population is great. I’m really surprised because (Ukraine) is a very remote country," Zotov said. "But despite that fact, so many people seem to know and follow the news and they are very passionate." 

Musicians who played in the "Peace Jam" said they wanted to help Ukraine in a meaningful way. 

Local musicians help raise money to support Ukraine amid war with Russia.  (Daveed Meiron)

"I thought, ‘Why not help out with that? It’s a good cause.’ So, I’m here to show some support," Ash Kartman, 20, told Fox Business. 

Michael Ghadban, 21, who hosted the event, told Fox Business that he wanted to help organize the event because he’s seen his Ukrainian friends in the U.S. "suffer vicariously" through their relatives back home. 

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"Anything we can do to help," he said. "As much as it might seem to some people who might be, say, ‘Oh, this is not going to do that much,’ it’s like, yeah maybe in the grand scheme of things but doing something is still something and it’s worth doing for a good cause."

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