Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein was awarded a medal by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine (JCU) earlier this week, that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Third Aliyah.While meeting with a 25-member JCU delegation led by its president Boris Lozhkin earlier this week, Edelstein was awarded the honorary medal – dubbed A Thousand Hearts – which was made specifically to honor the repatriation of 600 Jews fleeing Odessa for Jaffa aboard the Ruslan, exactly a century ago. The arrival of the Ruslan at the Jaffa Port has historically been seen as the official starting point of the Third Aliyah.Lozhkin explained that the JCU supports many of Israel's initiatives, and hopes to strengthen ties between the Jewish state and the Jewish community in Ukraine, as well as other communities in the Diaspora.Lozhkin also spoke about the successful first Kiev Jewish Forum – an international platform to discuss the numerous problems that world Jewry faces – which was held earlier this year and drew 500 participants from across the globe, and formally invited Edelstein to participate as a keynote speaker in the next Forum.Edelstein himself is a native of Chernobyl, Ukraine, and has campaigned for years in the face of adversity for the right of Jewish repatriation to Israel from the former USSR. Over the course of his years of fighting, he was arrested by the KGB and thrown into Soviet Prison, where he was imprisoned for three years. Since moving to Israel and becoming a politician, repatriation has been a focal point of many of his political efforts.Lozhkin stressed the importance that the JCU places on fighting antisemitism in Ukraine, as well as assisting Ukrainian Jewish communities and running social and educational projects. Another important mission of theirs is the work they do with a number of local governments to change street names to names honoring the Righteous Among the Nations, who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust.Edelstein said that while the recognition of some controversial historical figures in Ukraine today are detrimental, ties between Israel and Ukraine are actively progressing and strengthening. He added, however, that Israel expects the Ukrainian government to investigate and deal with all reports of antisemitism quickly and efficiently.