Amidst the Turmoil, a Model Seder Takes Place in Ukraine

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), in partnership with The Jewish Agency, organized a model seder last week for children in Ukraine. Photos by Moshe Bukhman, courtesy The Fellowship … [Read more...]

In Ukraine, Caring for Caregivers

by Alan H. Gill JNS.org My first visit to Odessa - the “pearl of the Black Sea” - was in the 1990s after the Soviet Union’s collapse. The city, even after decades of communist rule, remained a historical gem with its Potemkin Steps and ornate Opera House. It was also home to a significant Jewish population that has earned a distinct reputation for its special brand of pride. Having survived the Nazis and the Soviets, these Jews were eager to reclaim their identity and embrace the challenges of a post-communist existence. And they had a legacy of Jewish greats to draw from: Isaac Babel, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Boris Goldstein, and even the Olympic medal-winning swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg. In the more than 20 years that have passed since I first visited, the community has blossomed. A … [Read more...]

On the Ground in Kiev

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by Yevgeniy Klig Along with the rest of the world, I have been closely following the ongoing developments in Ukraine. For me, a native of Ukraine and the Senior Director of Russian Speaking Jewish Programming at Moishe House, the current events have been both a cause of great concern as well as inspiration. As I was sitting with the residents of Moishe House Kiev in their living room in late February, I couldn’t help but be filled with pride for what these young adults are doing in a tumultuous situation, as well as sadness for the violence and uncertainty of Ukraine’s future. Moishe House Kiev is located only a few metro stops away from Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the epicenter of the original protests. “For several days we stayed in our house too afraid to come out on the streets. As public … [Read more...]

Kiev and Our Global Responsibility

by Alan E. Klugman While the drama continues to unfold in Kiev and other cities across Ukraine, the horrendous television footage reflects chaos. Having visited Kiev as a professional, I understand how little we know about the social and political complexities of the country. Yet, I feel responsible for the Jewish community of Ukraine, today the fifth largest in the world. Major international Jewish organizations working with the Jewish Federation of Ukraine are doing what they can provide the basic necessities for the elderly, the isolated, and those whose lives have been touched by the street violence. Realistically, although there is little we can do to keep bad things from happening to our people in Ukraine, I strongly believe that we can be supportive in several ways. In my own … [Read more...]

One Day in Kiev

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Seen here are selected photographs taken by JDC's team in Kiev, where the Ukrainian capital has been transformed into a landscape resembling a war zone. Charred buildings line its wide boulevards and fortified encampments fill the city's Independence Square. JDC staff members, led by director of FSU operations Ofer Glanz, are working around the clock to ensure Ukraine's elderly Jews and single-parent Jewish families continue to receive the food and supplies they need. JDC’s Alena Druzhynina (pictured above in white helmet) entered the tense Independence Square area to bring a package of food to Mihail Solomonovich, an 82-year-old pensioner who has been homebound since the worst of the violence began. … [Read more...]

JDC Delivers Aid to Homebound Kiev Jews

Protesters manning a barricade in downtown Kiev outside the apartment of Mihail Solomonovich, an 82-year-old recipient of aid from JDC who has been homebound since deadly clashes began last week; courtesy JDC.

As unrest continues to roil Ukraine, JDC’s stepped-up relief efforts include delivering food and other urgent necessities to Jews in downtown Kiev where dozens have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in recent days. JDC’s Alena Druzhynina (pictured above in white helmet) entered the tense Independence Square area to bring a package of food to Mihail Solomonovich, an 82-year-old pensioner who has been homebound since the worst of the violence began. “When Mihail received the food package provided by Kiev Hesed, he said it was one of the most long-awaited and bright visits he ever had,” Druzhynina wrote from Kiev. “[Solomonovich] lives alone in a one-room apartment and barely moves around, but his eyes were full with pride and gratitude,” she added. The … [Read more...]