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Jewish Agency to aid Ukraine's Jewish community

February 23, 2014 04:02

Agency chairman: We have a moral obligation to ensure the safety and security of the community.

kiev protests

People carry the coffin of one anti-governent protester who was killed after days of violence during a rally in the Independence Square in Kiev February 22, 2014.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The Jewish Agency announced Saturday that it would provide emergency aid to the Jewish community in Ukraine as anti-government protests raged in Kiev.

The non-profit organization was planning to launch a fundraising campaign to increasing security measures for Jewish institutions in Ukraine.

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"We have a moral obligation to ensure the safety and security of the community," Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said in a statement.

The Jewish community in the Ukraine consists of around 200,000 members - one of the largest in the world. Several Jewish organizations in the country have already expressed concern that the violence could spill over into anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish community.

The Jewish Agency's announcement came on the same day that President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted from power, after months of protests and a week of bloodshed in Kiev that saw 82 people killed and the center of the capital transformed into an inferno.

Sam Sokol and Reuters contributed to this report.

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