Russan Jews Fret Over Ukraine Anti-Semitism

Is Pro-Putin Group Seeking To Undermine Kiev Gov't?

Scary Sight:Far right wing gunmen and Ukrainian policemen at the funeral of Alexander Scherbanyuk.
COURTESY OF VYACHESLAV A. LIKHACHEV
Scary Sight:Far right wing gunmen and Ukrainian policemen at the funeral of Alexander Scherbanyuk.

By JTA

Published March 20, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A prominent Russian Jewish organization expressed concern over anti-Semitism in Ukraine.

“There is concern in the Russian Jewish community over what is beginning to manifest itself in times of social and political instability as in recent attacks on Jews and Jewish targets in Ukraine,” Andrei Glotser, spokesperson of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, told the Interfax news agency earlier this week.

The federation is led by Berel Lazar, a chief rabbi of Russia and senior figure in the Chabad movement. Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych and his government were ousted last month in a revolution which erupted over his perceived pro-Russian policies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Kremlin officials warned of anti-Semitism in Ukraine following several violent anti-Semitic attacks — including a stabbing and the torching of a synagogue — that occurred during the four-month-long revolution in which far-right nationalists played a prominent role.

None of the perpetrators has been caught.

The most recent incident occurred on March 14. A Jewish couple, Zalman Hetzklovich and his wife, escaped a gang of eight men with clubs in a central Kiev street and took cover in a synagogue, according to Rabbi Hillel Cohen, a witness.

Cohen was himself assaulted in central Kiev on March 13 by several men, sustaining minor injuries in his leg and back, he said.

Yaakov Dov Bleich, a chief rabbi of Ukraine, said earlier this month that the attacks may be provocations by pro-Russian forces seeking to delegitimize the Ukrainian revolution.

And the Vaad Jewish group of Ukraine and other Jewish Ukrainian leaders disputed the notion that anti-Semitism was at all on the rise in Ukraine.

In an open letter to Putin this month the Vaad leaders wrote: “Your certainty about the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you expressed at your press conference, also does not correspond to the actual facts.”


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 Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • 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.