Reform Synagogue Attacked in Simferopol, Ukraine
The following was sent on Friday afternoon as an email on behalf of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. The bottom of this post includes a link to donate to help Jewish communities in Ukraine during this time of crisis.
This morning, as our community members arrived at the synagogue center in Simferopol, they discovered Antisemitic slogans stating “Death to the Jews” painted all over the doors of the synagogue, as well as damage to windows and other parts of the building.
As the unrest in Ukraine unfolds, concerns for the safety and well being of our communities in the Ukraine is growing steadily, especially in the rural areas and Crimea.
As seen on the news, the Crimean peninsula is considered of strategic importance to Russia, and at the time of this newsflash it seems that Russian troops have occupied the main airports and centers of power in the capital and surroundings. This violent atmosphere has quickly given rise to harassment and attacks on our communities.
Rabbi Michael Kapustin says, “The city is occupied by Russians. Apparently Russians intend to take over the Crimea and make it a part of Russia. 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. In the meanwhile, in spite of all our hesitation,s my family has decided to stay. If anyone comes tonight I will be in the synagogue to light the candles. Wider Shabbat services will not take place due to security reasons.”
According to Anatoly Gendin, chair of the community, “Clearly, it was important for the anti-Semites to commit this crime. Since the crisis began prices went up by 30%, pensions aren’t being paid. As usual, Jews are blamed reason of these disasters and Jews are held responsible. I am afraid to think how this will progress. ”
As the situation is unsafe, the community has instructed all members to stay indoors and stock up on food and supplies.
The WUPJ has initiated an emergency campaign to support our communities through this crisis, and hope to provide urgently needed security measures, supplies and equipment to the communities. If you are interested in joining this effort please donate now.
We hope and pray that quiet will return soon to the streets of Ukraine, as Shabbat settles in on the streets.
Ose Shalom Bimromov, may the One who makes peace in the heavens, help bring peace here on earth, for all the Household of Israel and for all God’s creations.
Mike Grabiner, Chairman of World Union for Progressive Judaism
Anne Molloy, Chair of WUPJ FSU Committee
Alex Kagan, Director of WUPJ FSU Program
To make a contribution, please visit WUPJ GIVING. If you’re using a credit card, please mark “Kiev Appeal” in the box that says, “Enter description.” Please call Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor with any questions or concerns: 212-452-6531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.