Ukraine’s Parliament building in the capital Kiev received its first mezuzah on Tuesday during a meeting between the president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), Dr. Michael Mirilashvili, and the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, Dmytro Razumkov.
Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is composed of 450 deputies presided over by a chairman.
During the meeting, Mirilashvili stressed the importance of preserving the historical memory of the Jewish community in Ukraine and “taking a firm stand in view of the increasing number of acts of violence against Jewish religious, public, and educational institutions in order to prevent further escalation of antisemitic sentiment in the country.”
According to a statement by the EAJC, the mezuzah was placed at the office entrance of the Ukrainian parliament opposition leader, Vadim Rabinovich, at the Verkhovna Rada building. Rabinovich is also the president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress.
The event took place on the eve of the first Summit of Eurasian Jewry, which began on Wednesday.
Jewish leaders from 32 countries of the Euro-Asian region are participating in the forum, including the EAJC, representatives of the World Jewish Congress, and other honorary guests.
According to a 2018 antisemitism report by the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, physical instances of antisemitism in Ukraine are almost non-existent in the country. However over 2019 there have been numerous incidents of antisemitic graffiti being painted on Jewish monuments, as well as threats made to Jewish leaders.
On Sunday, vandals painted a swastika on a monument honoring Yiddish novelist Sholem Aleichem.
In September, The Jerusalem Post reported the desecration of several Holocaust memorials, Nazi salutes at a football game, and threats made against Jewish leaders – including newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky.