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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Swastikas, Anti-Semitic Graffiti on Ukraine Synagogue

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The front doorway of a synagogue in Kolomia in western Ukraine was sprayed with a swastika and anti-Semitic slogans Thursday night, an official of the local Jewish community has told TPS. The official, Jacob Zlishiker, said the identity of the perpetrator is not known, and added that these things are routine in this city, and police are treating them very seriously.

The local Jewish cemetery also sustained some damage overnight.

The Kolomyia Synagogue graffiti / Photo credit: TPS

The Kolomyia Synagogue graffiti / Photo credit: TPS

Kolomia, which used to be the most developed city in the region before the war, boasted a large Jewish community, with about 19,000 Jews out of a general population of 43,000. The Jewish community was “culturally vibrant and complex,” influencing the Jewish culture of Galicia, according to the website Jewish Galicia & Bukovina. Before the war there were some 50 synagogues in Kolomia, among them the magnificent Hoiche Shul, a Yerushalmi synagogue, several Hassidic kloizes and even a Zionist synagogue.

In 1941, all of the Jews of Kolomia and its environs were concentrated in a ghetto that was divided into three separate sections. In 1942, these sections were burned and the entire population of the ghetto was annihilated: some were murdered in the city streets, others were taken to the Belzec extermination camp, and the rest were shot in the forest outside the village of Sheparivtsy, near the city.

A few dozen Jews returned to Kolomia after its liberation by the Soviet army and they continue to maintain a small community around the synagogue.

David Israel

Hundreds More Ukraine Jews Preparing to Flee

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Hundreds of Ukraine Jews are reportedly planning to flee the country due to the increasingly unstable living conditions.

Ukraine is still in a conflict with Russia over Crimea and the eastern Donbass province. Some 40,000 Russian troops massed along the Crimea-Ukraine border last week, prompting Ukraine to place its own troops on high alert ahead of the 25th Ukraine Independence Day.

Separatist forces helped Russia annex Crimea in 2014 in a vicious conflict that left thousands dead.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews reports its Kiev office has received more than 1,700 inquiries from Ukraine Jews over the past month about aliyah to Israel, which the organization helps facilitate.

An estimated 260,000 Jews are allegedly still living in the war-torn country. According to the NGO, there are about 5,000 Jews in the disputed Donbass region who are eligible to immigrate to Israel.

Many Jews in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, both in Donbass, are unable to reach the area of Ukraine where they can collect their basic state pensions of some $40 per month, due to attacks and military checkpoints.

Local authorities in Donbass recently jailed a Jewish community official who helped the Fellowship administer local humanitarian aid, and then exiled him west to the Ukraine capital, Kiev.

As often happens in times of war, the Jewish community has been caught in the crossfire between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Hana Levi Julian

Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.

JNi.Media

Ukraine Jews Come ‘Home’ Helped By Israel & IFCJ

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

A new group of 235 immigrants from Ukraine landed this week at Ben Gurion Internation Airport. Many of them arrived still badly traumatized from their experiences over the past two years in war-torn areas of the former Soviet satellite.

Many have been homeless, wandering from town to town, ducking bullets and praying for safety. More than a few have found themselves in the middle of what is known as the “The Republic of Luhansk”, a separatist state established in eastern Ukraine by Pro-Russian separatist forces. It is now a battlefield between the two factions.

The new Israelis made the trip with special assistance from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The organization is helping the new immigrants with grants of $1,000 for every adult and $500 per children. The group also paid for each new immigrant’s flight to Israel.

The flight was one of 28 that was arranged by the IFCJ in the past three months in order to bring new immigrants to Israel. On those flights were more than 4,000 new olim who came home to the Jewish State from places like Ukraine, France, South America and elsewhere.

The assistance came in additition to the regular benefits package provided to new immigrants by the State of Israel Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.

The youngest of the new olim is only six months old, and the oldest is age 95. They are set to live in 30 different cities across Israel, including Nahariya, Haifa, Netanya, Afula, Bat Yam, and Eilat.

Hana Levi Julian

Russian Legislator says Trump’s Statements Show Growing Pro-Russian Sentiment in US

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Donald Trump’s recent statements regarding his respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies regarding, among other places, Ukraine, are evidence that the United States is becoming pro-Russian, Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev suggested on Thursday.

“Trump has repeatedly proven that he, like no one else, understands the public’s demand for a change in course, and the attitudes of a large part of voters who have grown tired of the Clintons and the Bushes,” Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page.

The fact that a presidential candidate is speaking out in favor of improving relations with Russia means that “similar sentiment is becoming more and more popular in the US, and it can unify political points,” Kosachev added. “Only time will tell whether Trump is ready or—no less important—capable of implementing this. It is definitely too early to celebrate,” the lawmaker concluded.

For now, any predictions of Trump’s plans on recognizing Ukraine’s Crimea as part of Russia and lifting sanctions if he becomes president “are like gazing into a crystal ball, just like with his other vociferous statements,” Kosachev conceded.

Candidate Trump has stated that, if elected, he would consider recognizing occupied Crimea as a Russian territory and lifting sanctions against Russia. Crimea was taken by force in a staged February 2014 coup.

David Israel

Ukraine Intelligence Foils Plan to Attack French Synagogues, Mosques During Euro 2016

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Ukraine intelligence officials have foiled a terror plot to attack Jewish and Muslim houses of worship during the UEFA Euro 2016 international soccer tournament in France.

A 25-year-old nationalist French terrorist, Gregoire M., was arrested Monday on Ukraine’s border with Poland by the country’s State Security Service (SBU).

Under interrogation the suspect revealed that he had acquired a massive arsenal with which to carry out some 15 planned attacks during the games.

SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak told a news conference the suspect possessed guns, detonators and 125 kilos of TNT explosives with which to target mosques and synagogues.

“The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government’s actions, mass immigration, the spread of Islam and globalization, and also talked about plans to carry out several terrorist attacks,” Hrytsak told journalists.

He had made contact with illegal armed groups in Ukraine, according to the SBU chief, in order to purchase weapons and explosives.

Hana Levi Julian

Vatican invites Exorcist Director William Friedkin to Meet a Real Dybbuk

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Jewish American filmmaker William Friedkin, 80, who directed the truly terrifying 1973 horror movie “The Exorcist,” this week told an audience at the Cannes film festival that he was invited by the Vatican’s chief exorcist to film a real exorcism earlier this month, AFP and The Local reported.

“The Exorcist,” named the scariest film of all time by multiple critics, including Roger Ebert  and Stanley Kauffmann, became one of the highest-earning films of all time, grossing more than $441 million worldwide, and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

A scene from The Exorcist

A scene from The Exorcist

Friedkin, who was born in August 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, told the Cannes audience at a late night masterclass, “I was invited by the Vatican exorcist to shoot and video an actual exorcism which… few people have ever seen and which nobody has ever photographed,” and, he insisted, was very similar to his own film. “I was pretty astonished by that. I don’t think I will ever be the same having seen this astonishing thing. I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome,” he said.

“There must be something in there,” said Friedkin, who also made “The French Connection,” “Sorcerer,” “Cruising,” “To Live and Die in L.A.,” “Jade,” “Rules of Engagement,” “The Hunted,” “Bug,” and “Killer Joe.”

The late Rabbi Elyah Lopian, one of the leaders of the Mussar Movement in late 19th century eastern Europe, related to his students that Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, the Chofetz Chaim, sent ten of his students in Radin, Poland, to exorcise a dybbuk from a woman. Rabbi Elhanan Wasserman would repeat the story every Purim. If you’re seeking confirmation of the fact that great Orthodox rabbis also performed exorcism, kindly check A Dybbuk Story.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/vatican-invites-exorcist-director-william-friedkin-to-meet-a-real-dybbuk/2016/05/19/

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