A matzah bakery in Ukraine prepares for Passover under siege

The matzah makers vowed to do all they can to continue producing the Passover staple no matter the situation in the crisis with Russia.

Shmurah Matzah.  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Shmurah Matzah.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A Ukrainian Matza bakery is working tirelessly these days to be able to bake as many matzahs ​​as possible - in case a war breaks out with Russia and disrupts the routine of life.

The bakery was established more than 20 years ago in the city of Dnipro in the Dnipropetrovsk region, bordering the separatist province of Donetsk. A few months ago, a branch of the Ukrainian Matzah Bakery was also opened in the city of Uman.

"The two bakeries employ about 90 people, most of them members of the local Jewish community," said the new branch manager, Mendy Stumble. "The bakery's target this year is 100 tons of handmade matzah. Most matzahs ​​are exported to the former Soviet Union, Western Europe and other countries. A small portion of the Matza are intended for use by the 160 communities united by the Jewish Federation of Ukraine."

According to Federation Chairman Rabbi Meir Stumbler, "We continue, as usual, believing and hoping that everything will work out and common sense will prevail. Even if war breaks out - and as we now see we are on the verge of one - everything will be done to keep the production line, because Passover is approaching and we want to make sure the matzah supply in Ukraine is not harmed." 

"Matzahs are called 'the food of faith' in Judaism," said Rabbi Shmuel Kamintsky, rabbi of the city of Dnipro, who gives the Kosher certification to the bakery. "I believe and am sure that everything will work out peacefully. It is not easy, but the Jewish community is trying to remain optimistic. That is what holds us together."

Reservists take part in a tactical training and individual combat skills conducted by the Territorial Defense of the Capital in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 19, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ANTONIO BRONIC)Reservists take part in a tactical training and individual combat skills conducted by the Territorial Defense of the Capital in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 19, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ANTONIO BRONIC)