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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kiev’

100 Ukrainian Jews Want to Make Aliyah, Settle in Judea and Samaria

Friday, March 7th, 2014

One hundred Jews from Kiev want to make Aliyah as a “gar’in” (a unified fledgling community), according to a report in Makor Rishon. They come from all over Kiev. All of them are young professionals, including doctors, lawyers, accountants and advertising executives.

Michael Rosenfeld, an emissary for “Hamidrasha Hatziyonut” (Zionist School) told Makor Rishon that he had been approached by a hundred Ukrainian Jews from Kiev who want to immigrate to Israel. There are 20 families on the list so far, as well as a number of singles. They want to make Aliyah together, and live together in Israel in the same community.

They already decided they want to move to a town in either Judea or Samaria.

Rosenfeld said that these are people who always spoke about Aliyah, but now the situation in Kiev is giving them that extra push.

Rosenfeld’s Midrasha is now opening an Ulpan course, to prepare the group with the language skills they’ll need when they arrive in Israel.

Rosenfeld is calling on the Israeli government, and Moetzet Yesha (The Council of Judea and Samaria) to assist them in the Aliyah process.

Simultaneously, others in the Kiev community are trying to raise money for security for the Jews of Ukraine, in response to the anarchy in the streets. According to a JTA report Thursday, the Jewish Federations of North America has launched a Ukraine Assistance Fund.

“As the situation escalates, needs in the Ukrainian Jewish community become even more acute,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations’ board of trustees.

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, one of the two chief Rabbis of Ukraine, told John Kerry in a meeting this week that it costs $1000 a day to ensure the security of his Yeshiva, and that to provide protection for all the Jewish organizations would cost $4000 a day.

An estimated 70,000 Jews live in the Ukraine.

Now, imagine if they all moved to Judea and Samaria.

All it takes is a single “gar’in”.

 

The New Old Antisemitism

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing. Beatings. Swastikas. Boycotts. Brooklyn. Kiev. Sydney. Even from my comfortable perch here in “Jew” York City I have come to realize that there exists a huge gray area between Never again and Watch your back.

Not that antisemitism ever went away. In every generation we face enemies who hate us viscerally and wish for our demise, whether by their own hand or some other means. Many others are raised with tolerance and respect, yet drink the milk of a culture that paints Israel as the devil and Jews who support her as guilty by association. They may like us as individuals but still harbor suspicions about us as a group.

There was a quieting of sorts after the Holocaust. The West’s collective guilt at failing to prevent Hitler’s genocidal campaign lent us a certain sympathy, an inclination to accommodate our recovery as a people, to allow us to come back stronger even, with our biblical homeland restored. Discrimination still flourished, but violence was the province of goons like the Klan.

Today, we have anti-discrimination laws to protect us but, ironically, overtly anti-Semitic physical attacks have reemerged as a threat to Jews even in bastions of cosmopolitanism. In much of Europe today, wearing a kippah is an act of courage – or recklessness, depending whom you ask. Jewish schools are fortified like vaults, with security guards and cameras. Attempts to ban shechitah and bris milah have gained tremendous momentum and achieved some level of success.

Echoes of the Chanukah and Purim stories are converging now in a way not seen perhaps since the Spanish Inquisition: The threat encompasses neshamah and guf our freedom to practice our way of life, and our very lives. What’s going on? And more important, how should we respond?

It’s no secret that the resurgence of open antisemitism has a lot do with the influx of Muslims to Europe, and the misguided efforts of governments at every level there to accommodate – or, rather, appease – a culture that seeks hegemony, not acculturation. Even places that have not experienced this demographic shift have been affected by the rising tide of radical Islam globally and its alarming corollary, the creeping influence of the soft propaganda churned out by the media as well as political and academic talking heads.

On Purim, there’s a tradition to drink until one cannot tell the difference between “arur (cursed be) Haman” and “baruch (blessed be) Mordechai.” I fear that much of our world today has so imbibed the lies and demagoguery of Israel’s enemies that truth and falsehood have become fungible.

But anti-Israelism, if you will, cannot alone explain the rash of anti-Jewish violence. Did the perpetrator of a “knockout” attack in Crown Heights really think twice about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? What about the Winnipeg girl who shouted “let’s burn the Jew” as she lit a high school classmate’s hair on fire (an injury compounded by the judge on the case who deemed it not a hate crime)?

One probable factor is that thing at the heart of so many human woes: money. The economic downturn, a crisis in some parts, has led to civil unrest in Europe and even here in the U.S. (Remember the Occupy-ers?) Tough times breed discontent, and discontent breeds scapegoating. And we know that Jews are the favorite scapegoat for the world’s problems. The caricature of the Jew as master financier and puppeteer of the universe still lives.

This new reality – the realization that we’re not as safe as we may have thought – brings one lesson from our history into sharp relief. In Megillas Esther, when Haman presents to Achashveirosh his terrible plot against the Jews, he says, “There is a people in your kingdom who are scattered and separated among the nations.” Yes, the Jewish community’s evolution toward de-centralization made them an easier target for Haman. But more profoundly, says the Ozarover Rebbe, Rabbi Yechiel HaLevi Epstein, their lack of unity as a people made them vulnerable to attack. What was the antidote for that? “Gather all the Jews together,” Esther told Mordechai – then I can go before the king and beg for mercy; then we will have a fighting chance against Haman’s armies.

The Jewish community today is bitterly splintered. Let’s put aside for now the alarming rate of intermarriage and the more than one-fifth of Jews who classify themselves as having “no religion.” Let’s even put aside the divisions between the Orthodox and affiliated non-Orthodox Jews. Within the frum community there is so much infighting.

It’s normal and healthy and in keeping with thousands of years of Jewish history for us to be diversified, heterogeneous – anything but monolithic. But the vitriol from the mouths of those considered leaders, and in turn from their followers, the use of Nazi imagery, the lack of civility – let alone respect – toward Jews who keep Shabbos and kashrus but differ in hashkafa or practice or politics is not only disgraceful but dangerous. A public demonstration, in galus, by Jews against Jews is one of the most tragic scenes of our times. We need Hashem’s protection, but we have to show Him that Am Yisrael Chai – the Jewish people, united in destiny and faith, live.

Small acts of reaching out, reserving judgment, and saving the hateful rhetoric for our real enemies are a good place to start.

Kerry Protests while Kiev Burns (Video)

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Kiev turned into a bloodbath Thursday, with anywhere from 70 to more than 100 killed and dozens of policeman kidnapped by protesters.

The violence, similar to that in Egypt, Syria and other countries where social protests quickly turned into street battles and all-out war between regimes and demonstrators, has again left the Obama administration looking weak.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last December protested the violence of government forces against protesters and failed earlier this month in his intervention to solve the political crisis that has exploded into deadly street battles.

The European Union has voted for sanctions against the government, and the United States has issued a visa ban on 20 senior government members considered responsible for the attacks on anti-government protesters.

Kerry last December expressed “disgust” at the violence, and now Vice President Joe Biden this week announced his “grave concern.

“We call for utmost restraint,” said Kerry. “Human life must be protected. Ukrainian authorities bear full responsibility for the security of the Ukrainian people. As church bells ring tonight amidst the smoke in the streets of [Kiev], the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. They deserve better.”

The State Dept. just doesn’t get it that no one really is listening to what he has to say.

Ukraine Police Storm Protest Camp after 19 Killed in Clashes (Video)

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

At least 19 policemen and protesters were killed and dozens were injured in violent clashes Tuesday before police began an assault on the main protest camp in Kiev where demonstrators have been deployed since November.

More than seven of those killed were policemen, and well-trained demonstrators used rocks and firebombs to beat back police attempts to disperse them.

President Viktor Yanukovych, who has refused demands to resign despite charges of blocking reforms, and authorities shut down Kiev’s metro to prevent possible attacks by protesters.

The violence has spread to cities outside of Kiev and is continuing into the middle of the night.

Three Dead in Kiev Protests (Video)

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Police shot and killed two three protesters in violent clashes on Wednesday between stick-wielding demonstrators and security forces in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. A third protester died after a fall.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov blamed the deaths on opposition leaders and claimed that the police did fire live bullets.

The violence escalated after three days of protests over the two-month-old political crisis, which worsened when President Viktor Yanukovych changed course from an expected signing of a long-anticipated cooperation deal with the European Union.

The clashed were sparked by his success in passing legislation against protesters.

Ukraine: Yeshiva Student Stabbed

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Full Update from JTA:

A Jewish man from Kiev sustained serious injuries in a knife attack by three men, the second assault on a Jew in the city in one week.

The victim of the stabbing on Saturday night was identified by Ukrainian media as Dov Ber Glickman, a 28-year-old student of a local kolel, a school of Talmudic studies for married men.

He was attacked by three men after exiting the Podolski synagogue.

After the stabbing, Glickman returned to the synagogue and was rushed from there to the hospital, where he is currently recovering, according to Rabbi Moshe Asman, a chief rabbi of Ukraine. Asman told the Israeli daily Maariv that the Glickman suffered a massive loss of blood.

Police are searching for the attackers, who ran away after the stabbing.

Last week, four unidentified men were involved in an assault on an Israel-born Hebrew teacher from Kiev, whom they followed from his synagogue to his home. Three of them attacked the teacher in the vestibule until neighbors responded to his cries. One of the men is in custody.

Mark Levin, executive director of NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, strongly condemned the violent attacks in Kiev targeting Jewish individuals.

“It’s disturbing that the incidents have happened on back-to-back Friday nights,” Levin told JTA Sunday. There is “growing concern” throughout the Jewish community in Kiev, he said, adding: ”The atmosphere has certainly been changing over the last couple of months.”

Levin said the government and police must convinced to provide greater security around the synagogues and other Jewish sites in the city. He said he has spoken to the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, who is in touch with the Ukrainian government on the issue.

Levin said that following the most recent attack the Yeshiva students organized their own security patrol.

 


On Friday night, 3 youths attacked a yeshiva student, Dov Ber Glickman in the neighborhood of Padul in Kiev, Ukraine. The student was on his way home after a meal at the local synagogue.

The three jumped the student, beat him, stabbed him three times in the legs and then ran.

The student managed to get back to the synagogue where he passed out. The synagogue guard called an ambulance.

The Jewish community is demanding to know who is behind the attack.

h/t Rotternik

Kiev Hosting First-Ever Hebrew Song Contest in Former Soviet Union

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Twelve talented candidates from around the former Soviet Union competed in Kiev, Ukraine, this week in the “Hallelujah” contest, a global Hebrew singing competition for Jewish talent.

For the first time, the international competition, an initiative of the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews, the World Zionist Organization and the Hallelujah Organization, was held in the former Soviet Union.

The songs in the competition were by prominent Hebrew poets, including Chaim Nachman Bialik, Shaul Tchernichovsky, Natan Yonatan, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, and Rachel Bluwstein.

The winner was Maria Katzav Mikaterenberg, who’s studying voice in a local College in the Ukraine. In second and third place were Yelena Geleckson from Voronezh and Elana Levine from Penza.

WFRJ was established in January 2012 during the United Nations conference marking International Holocaust Day by a group of Jewish businessmen and philanthropists from the Former Soviet Union, all of whom served as community leaders of Russian-speaking Jews in the United States, Canada, Germany and the Ukraine.

The organization works to strengthen the bond of Russian-speaking Jews in the Diaspora with Israel. The president is Alexander Levin, an American-Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist who is also head of the Jewish community of Kiev.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kiev-hosting-first-ever-hebrew-song-contest-in-former-soviet-union/2013/06/28/

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