Weekly News Update 
WASHINGTON, D.C. April 2, 2015


TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

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

Yesterday, NCSEJ Chairman Stephen Greenberg was nominated to be the new Chairman for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. At this complex and challenging time for the State of Israel and the American Jewish community, I cannot think of a more qualified person to take this position.

Stephen is a leader in every sense of the word. He has led our organization with great distinction, and I know he will do the same for the Conference of Presidents. I am proud to call him a friend and mentor.

As we approach the beginning of Passover, Jewish charities are increasing efforts to help Ukraine's Jewish communities celebrate the Passover holiday during a time of turmoil. In addition to its regular deliveries of aid, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) will deliver 48,000 packages of matzah to Ukrainian Jews in need, and JDC-funded Hesed centers and Jewish community centers will hold Passover celebrations.

It is an especially challenging time for Ukrainian Jewish communities in areas controlled by pro-Russian rebels. These communities remain cut off from government services, including pensions and salaries. In a conversation with NCSEJ, the Luhansk Jewish community's representatives have confirmed that they received food packages and other supplies from Kyiv for Passover. The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia has also pledged to supply Luhansk Jews with matzah and grape juice for Passover Seders.

Over nine hundred participants gathered for the sixth annual Limmud FSU conference in New York last weekend. The conference featured numerous workshops, classes, and performances with top artists, writers, and educators.

In an expected outcome, incumbent president Islam Karimov won Sunday's presidential election in Uzbekistan. The OSCE questioned the elections for lacking "genuine political alternatives" and for ignoring the constitutional limit of two consecutive presidential terms.

I would like to highlight a New York Times story on a rally in support of Ukrainian unity that took place on Saturday in Dnipropetrovsk. The rally took place in the wake of Dnipropetrovsk governor Ihor Kolomoisky's dismissal, which had many concerned about the repercussions on the Dnipropetrovsk region and Ukraine's national interests.

I also want to highlight a Bloomberg article on the Russian government's sophisticated efforts to increase its informational outreach, propagating its narrative of the events in Ukraine to Russian and English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Wishing you a Chag Pesach Sameach,


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. 
Website:  www.ncsej.org   
Email:  ncsejinfo@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.