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Edelstein to push for security aid to Ukrainian Jews

March 18, 2014 20:57

Ukrainian Rabbi: "There is anti-Semitism, but not systematic anti-Semitism. We do not feel more threatened after the revolution."

Knesset speaker video-chat with Ukranian Jewish community leaders

Knesset speaker video-chat with Ukranian Jewish community leaders. (photo credit:KNESSET SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein offered support to Ukrainian Jewry Tuesday, during a video chat with leaders of the Jewish community of Dnipropetrovsk.

“There is tension in the air, but no Jew is hiding his Judaism,” Rabbi Meir Stembler said.

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“There is anti-Semitism, but not systematic anti-Semitism.

We do not feel more threatened after the revolution.”

According to Stembler, the community feels safe, but could use help with security from Israel.

“Our situation is good, but it can get worse. Ukrainian Jews may leave and want to immigrate to Israel,” he said.

Igor Shobag, a researcher of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, said that “even in the Ukrainian Right there are people who want to cooperate with us. We want Ukraine to develop without xenophobia and hatred of Jews.”

Alina Tiplitzky of the local community center said that 5,000 Purim food packages (mishloah manot), were distributed, no fewer than in previous years and preparations for Passover have already begun.

“We are in touch with the Jewish community of Crimea, which consists of about 4,000 people. Their condition is good and they are also preparing for Pessah [Passover],” Tiplitzky said.

Edelstein, who hails from Chernivtsi, which is now in Ukraine, said he will continue to be in direct touch with Ukrainian Jewry.

The Knesset Speaker said he will also look into the community’s requests.

“I hope and believe we can help as much as necessary,” Edelstein said. “I wish you and the entire Ukrainian Jewish community a happy Passover.”
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