The Jewish Agency has announced it will extend immediate emergency assistance to the Jewish community of Ukraine and will help secure Jewish institutions in the country.
The immediate assistance will come from The Jewish Agency’s Emergency Assistance Fund for Jewish Communities. The fund was established in the wake of the horrific March 2012 terror attack in Toulouse, in which a Jewish teacher and three Jewish schoolchildren were murdered. The fund provides financial assistance to Jewish communities that have security concerns, strengthening security measures and helping to ensure that Jewish life takes places in safety. The fund has thus far extended some $4 million in financial assistance, helping to ensure the security of some 50 communities in 25 countries, including communities in South Africa, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, and elsewhere. The fund is now in need of replenishment.
The Ukrainian Jewish community is one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, with some 200,000 members. Most Jews reside in the capital, Kiev, and there are thriving communities in Odessa, Lvov, and Dnepropetrovsk. During 70 years of Communist rule, Jewish gatherings were prohibited in Ukraine, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jewish institutions began to develop in the country, transforming the Jewish community. Today, Ukraine is host to a vibrant Jewish community with dozens of communal institutions, including synagogues, schools, yeshivas, seminaries and organizations specializing in extending assistance to the needy and empowering the younger generation.