Ukrainian Jews win Torah scroll battle

Kiev Central Synagogue wins legal battle against Ukrainian state archive enabling it to keep Torah scrolls obtained from Russia in 2011.

October 26, 2013 21:08
Torah scrolls obtained by the Kiev Central Synagogue from Russia.

Kiev Central Synagogue Torah scrolls 370. (photo credit: World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews)

The Kiev Central Synagogue won a legal battle against the Ukrainian state archive last week, enabling it to keep 300 Torah scrolls which it had obtained from Russia in 2011 nearly a century after the their confiscation.

The scrolls, which were taken by Soviet authorities in the 1920s, were demanded by the archive, leading to a lengthy legal battle between the local Jewish community and the state.

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Following last week’s ruling, Alexander Levin, the President of the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews and a community leader in Kiev, thanked Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for his support.

The ruling, Levin said, is “proof that there is no state anti-semitism in the Ukraine.”

The Jewish community is currently restoring the scrolls, which are in terrible condition following decades in Soviet, and later Russian, hands.

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