Weekly News Update 
WASHINGTON, D.C. January 30, 2015


TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

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

We continue to receive alarming news from Jewish communities in Eastern Ukraine. Mariupol's Jewish community representatives report that the situation in the city remains difficult although the shelling of the city has ended. Many families are concerned about the potential return of violence and are looking for ways to get their children to safety, at least temporarily.


Chairman of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine Josef Zissels thinks the conflict is likely to continue for some time, and recommended that those who can, both Jews and non-Jews alike, should leave the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which includes the city of Mariupol. 


Community programs nevertheless continue in Mariupol. The synagogue is open, and classes, lectures, and youth programs are still taking place. A Jewish evening school and a kindergarten continue to stay open.


We are also hearing from Jewish communities in Donetsk and Luhansk, who are struggling to support the elderly and the needy. They rely on the help of others: international and local donors and charity organizations.


The EU announced this week that the current sanctions against Russia will be extended until September. However, the EU members did not agree to introduce new economic sanctions.


This week, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. NCSEJ Deputy Director Lesley Weiss joined her mother Irene Fogel Weiss, an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor, in Poland to mark the anniversary. For those who did not see our report on the event please visit http://conta.cc/1yeFVo6. This week's update includes a number of articles on the Auschwitz liberation anniversary.


In Russia, President Vladimir Putin visited Moscow's Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center on Tuesday to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attended the commemoration in Poland. The Ukrainian government also announced its decision to appoint an envoy tasked with preventing and combating anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine.



Mark B. Levin

Executive Director

Please visit http://ncsej.org/NCSEJ-Wkly.pdf  
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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. 
Website: www.ncsej.org   
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.