Weekly News Update 

WASHINGTON, D.C. September 19, 2014

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

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


Dear Friend,

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited the United States this week, seeking more military and economic aid. President Poroshenko received a warm welcome in Washington and a pledge for $53 million in security and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. However, the new aid package does not include lethal military assistance. Ukraine also did not receive a special non-allied partner status with NATO.

The calls for providing stronger military support, including lethal weapons, continue in Washington. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed on Thursday the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which calls for more sanctions on Russia and $350 million for arms and military training for Ukraine.

I would like to highlight an op-ed by Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott and Senior Fellow Ambassador Steven Pifer, who urge the United States to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons, arguing that a better-armed Ukrainian army would increase Russia's cost for continuing its aggression in Ukraine.

This week's update also includes the White House Fact Sheet on U.S. support for Ukraine, to give you a better understanding of the aid commitment made to Ukraine by the United States.

Also this week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Resolution H. Res. 707, which condemns the rise of anti-Semitism in world. NCSEJ was one of the many American Jewish organizations that actively supported passage of the resolution.

In Russia, regional and local elections took place on Sunday, resulting in overwhelming victories by candidates loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The elections were criticized for irregularities, including Kremlin's restriction of political opposition and tight media control. Despite these violations, the polls also reflect high approval ratings of President Putin's policies by the majority of the Russian population.

I would also like to highlight a Guardian story about the rise of Russia's influence in Kyrgyzstan.

Despite the volatile situation in Ukraine, the Jewish community of Dnipropetrovsk organized a festive wedding ceremony for nineteen Jewish couples on Sunday. Chief Rabbi of Dnipropetrovsk Shmuel Kaminetsky conducted the ceremony, which was an uplifting and symbolic event for the local Jewish community.

Finally, on behalf of NCSEJ I would like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year. L'Shana Tova!



Mark B. Levin

Executive Director

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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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