Ukraine Jews Call on Russia To End 'Invasion'

Join Call by Religious Groups for End of Crisis

Crimean War? An Orthodox priest holds a crucifix as Russian soldiers patrol streets in the breakaway Ukraine region of Crimea.
getty images
Crimean War? An Orthodox priest holds a crucifix as Russian soldiers patrol streets in the breakaway Ukraine region of Crimea.

By JTA

Published March 02, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Religious communities in Ukraine, including the Jewish community, called on Russia to “stop its aggression against Ukraine” and pull out its troops.

The religious communities also appealed to the international community, including the United States, Great Britain, the European Union, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, to “stop foreign invasion into Ukraine and brutal interference into our internal affairs.”

Rabbi Jacob Dov Bleich, president of the Jewish Federation of Ukraine and a chief rabbi in the country, was among the signatories of the letter circulated by the Institute for Religious Freedom. Other signatories include the heads of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate; the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine; the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine; and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Russia! The Ukrainian people have only friendly, fraternal feelings toward the Russian people. Do not believe the propaganda that enflames hostility between us. We want and we will continue to build friendly and fraternal relations with Russia but only as a sovereign and independent state,” the letter states.

Meanwhile, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee said Sunday that it has activated emergency plans to help needy Jews in Crimea, which is home to about 17,000 Jews who live in and around Simferopol, Sevastopol, Feodosia and Yalta. The assistance includes delivering food and medicine to the homes of elderly and poor, establishing emergency phone chains and increasing security around Jewish community centers.

The JDC said in a statement that it has “prepared appropriate contingency plans in case the situation worsens.”

In a statement released Friday, Rabbi Michael Kapustin of the Ner Tamid Reform synagogue in Simferopol, in the Crimean Peninsula, said he would go to his synagogue to light candles even though services were canceled for security reasons.

“The city is occupied by Russians. Apparently Russians intend to take over the Crimea and make it a part of Russia,” Kapustin said. ”If this were the case I would leave the country. In this case, I will leave this country since I want to live in democratic Ukraine.”

Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/03/02/news-opinion/world/ukraines-religious-communities-ask-russia-to-pull-out-troops#ixzz2ur0c0DrS


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.