Jewish Ukraine Governor Vows To Return Mosque

Igor Kolomoisky Will Hand Back Holy Place Seized by Soviets

By JTA

Published July 15, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Jewish governor of a large Ukrainian city has promised to return a former mosque to the hands of the Muslim community.

Igor Kolomoisky, who was appointed governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region in March, made the promise last week during a visit to the city’s Olympic Reserve Sports School, which operates out of a building which was built in 1926 to serve as a mosque but which the Soviet government later confiscated, the news site evreiskiy.kiev.ua reported.

Igor Kolomoisky
Igor Kolomoisky

Representatives of the region’s Muslim community of 80,000 people have been lobbying for restitution for the building since 2000, the news site rus.newsru.ua reported.

“Igor Kolomoisky, governor of the region, is going as soon as possible to return the mosque to the Muslim community,” Deputy Governor Boris Filatov is quoted as saying on July 9.

According to Newsru.ua, the region’s Muslim community is mostly made up of Tatars, whose main place of worship is a private residence in the city’s outskirts with a capacity of 250 people.

Throughout the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith communities have received hundreds of real-estate properties that had been confiscated from them during Soviet times from local and state governments.

Recently, Russia has come under international criticism, including by the Council of Europe, for its treatment of Muslim Tatars in the Crimean Peninsula, and area it annexed from Ukraine in March despite an international outcry.

Kolomoisky, who is a billionaire banker, is known for his criticism of Russia’s actions on Ukraine and is believed to have poured millions of dollars of his private wealth into arming Ukraine’s underfunded army to deal with threats from Russia.


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!
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • 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.