Weekly News Update 

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 1, 2014

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, NCSEJ Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director


Dear Friend,


We continue to receive reports about the deteriorating situation in Eastern and Southern Ukraine and how it affects Ukraine's Jewish communities. In conversations with community leaders, we are hearing about increasing numbers of refugees who are leaving the war zone and resettling in Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, and other cities in Ukraine.

Many among those who still remain in areas affected by the fighting have limited access to basic necessities. In many cases, they are unable to leave their homes at all. One Jewish community member said, "I wish I could talk to someone about the shooting in the city, the destruction and the killing of civilians. I also wish I could describe the true hell we are living in because of the occupiers. Every day the liberation is delayed we are losing years of progress."

International organizations and local groups continue to support those remaining in conflict zones and continue to assist refugees with resettlement. However, their resources are stretching thin.

The organized American Jewish community has responded with great empathy to the crisis in Ukraine. The incredible work done in Ukraine by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is highlighted in an op-ed by its Chief Program Officer Ofer Glanz, which we include in this week's update. He describes the warlike conditions that thousands of refugees in Eastern Ukraine are fleeing, including "constant shelling, electricity cuts, shortages of food and medicine, and widespread unrest." The update also includes a JTA story detailing the flight of Jewish refugees from Eastern Ukraine.

It is imperative that we continue to try to meet the needs of our endangered fellow Jews in Ukraine. Ofer Glanz says it well in his


opinion piece: "Given the myriad of grave challenges facing our people in Ukraine, Israel, and beyond, it may seem daunting to find solutions. But there is a fortitude that exists in the global Jewish community, and a yearning to ensure that those most vulnerable are safeguarded."


NCSEJ knows very well the difficulty of trying to respond to twin crises. However, we believe that our community is capable of meeting this challenge and addressing the needs of endangered Jews in Ukraine, Israel, and elsewhere.

NCSEJ continues to closely monitor developments in the region and provide you with accurate and timely information and analysis. If you haven't seen this week's latest Ukraine updates, please visit


In addition to articles detailing the humanitarian crisis in Eastern Ukraine, this week's update includes several pieces analyzing the implications of the new round of sanctions introduced by both the United States and the EU on Russia.

In another blow to the Russian government, the European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that Russia must pay 1.9 billion euros to Yukos shareholders, for failing to "strike a fair balance" in its treatment of the company. The decision comes within days after the Hague court awarded $50 billion in damages to Yukos.

In another new twist in Ukraine's political drama, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, rejected Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's resignation. Yatsenyuk will continue working is his capacity as Prime Minister.



Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved John Tefft to be the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. A longtime diplomat, Tefft has been Ambassador to Lithuania, Georgia, and Ukraine, and has worked closely with NCESJ on issues important to the Jewish community. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Ambassador Tefft in the future.




Mark B. Levin

Executive Director

Please visit for NCSEJ's Weekly News Update.


Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union.


Phone: 202-898-2500

NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations.
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