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Ukraine’s Jewish Mayor of Kharkov Begins His Recovery in Israel

Jews in Kharkov and Odessa are holding their breath and waiting to see what happens this coming weekend.
Kharkov's Jewish Mayor Gennady Kernes is recovering at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after emergency surgery in Kharkov and a medical airlift to an Israeli hospital for follow-up treatment.

Kharkov's Jewish Mayor Gennady Kernes is recovering at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after emergency surgery in Kharkov and a medical airlift to an Israeli hospital for follow-up treatment.
Photo Credit: Courtesy, Chabad.org

Kharkov’s  Jewish Mayor Gennady Kernes is slowly overcoming near-fatal wounds and is on the road to recovery, Chabad-Lubavitch officials confirm.

While jogging in the wee hours of the morning last week, the Ukrainian official was shot by masked gunmen in an assassination attempt that nearly succeeded. His liver and lungs peppered with gunshot wounds, the critically wounded mayor was whisked away by medical airlift to Israel after emergency surgery in Kharkov. Following an initial stay at the private Elisha Hospital in Haifa, he was transferred to Rambam, where he underwent a second operation.

Mayor Kernes has now regained consciousness, and though still in very serious condition, he is recovering, officials said. “He woke up and he is speaking a little,” Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and Kharkov Chief Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz told Chabad.org . “G-d willing, I hope to visit him soon. Things are still delicate, but he’s getting better and we hope he gets out of it.”

He added that a Chabad emissary in Haifa has been a regular visitor at the mayor’s bedside.

The mayor has become a casualty of the violence that is rocking the country since pro-Russian separatists began disturbances weeks ago, with apparent encouragement from the Kremlin.

The city is located within the separatist province of Donetsk, which has declared itself to be an independent nation, the new “Republic of Donetsk.”

The Kremlin recently annexed Crimea, which seceded from eastern Ukraine last month. Russia now appears to have her eyes on Odessa, the third largest city in the country — located in western Ukraine — where dozens of people were killed in violence last week.

Jewish communities in Odessa have already made evacuation plans but have yet to carry them out; Jewish residents there and in Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, appear to be holding their breath and waiting to see what happens this coming weekend.

The ninth of May marks the victory of the former Soviet Union over the Nazis in World War II. It is a day that is still celebrated in eastern bloc nations and Soviet veterans — and is expected to ignite more violence in Ukraine.

It is also likely to raise anti-Semitic levels to new heights as well.

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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38 Responses to “Ukraine’s Jewish Mayor of Kharkov Begins His Recovery in Israel”

  1. G-d be with him & help him

  2. G-d speed on your recovery…..

  3. Julio Ozil O says:

    God protect and safeguard His people the Jews

  4. Speedy & healthy recovery

  5. I hope he has the sense to stay here and bring his family over.

  6. You are safe now … G@d bless you

  7. Lina Deza says:

    Great! Hope he will stay in Israel for good!

  8. Rachel Shore says:

    he’s home. !!!

  9. Speedy recovery , refua shlema

  10. May G d heal you quickly

  11. stay in Israel! safer than with these tugs

  12. Karen Bryant says:

    Stay strong. God was with you that day and every day!

  13. Zev Henig says:

    Refuah Shleimah!

  14. Wishing you a speedy recovery

  15. M'Lissa Saks says:

    of course he would go to the best care in the world!!!!

  16. i think of my grandmother in Kiev back in the day…. The more things change, the more they stay the same. VERY SAD TIMES.

  17. Great news!!! I hope he stays in ISRAEL.

  18. Langat Enosh says:

    G-D’S hands be on his people and land….

  19. Deepak Gupta says:

    Happy Birthday Israel ! God bless The Jewish People, God bless Israel !!!

  20. Reminds me of how my grandfather, aunts, uncles and cousins were slaughtered in Zborov, a small village near Lvov in WW2 by the Ukranians living there who helped their nazi friends out with gusto. The Ukraine never changes and every Jew living there should try and leave that cesspool of hate. Both sides will find reasons to blame the Jews for the whole mess there, as usual. I hope the mayor makes a full recovery and stays in Israel for good.

  21. Ari Arronsam says:

    meilleur retablicement amine amine

  22. May he recover quickly.

  23. The Lord bless you and keep you

  24. this is only one example of Israel…one in a billion…He was saved by HASHEM…

  25. May G-d richly bless and heal you soon!

  26. Speedy recovering

  27. Glad he is going to survive. Praying for him!

  28. I hope now he will realize that Israel is his home. I pray that all the Jews from the Ukraine and from everywhere else outside of Israel will join us here in our National Homeland.

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