I was in Israel this week, participating in the Global Forum on Combating Anti-Semitism. I co-chaired the Working Group on Anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, moderating discussions with scholars, representatives of the region's Jewish communities and governments, and members of Jewish agencies and international organizations.
Many prominent religious and government leaders at the conference discussed the rise in global anti-Semitism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the opening of the forum, urging a fight against "resurgent anti-Semitism" in the Middle East and the West.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi this week, in his first high-level visit to Russia since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis. The update includes a number of stories that analyze the meeting's significance.
I want to highlight a Reuters story about a draft law that recognizes a series of Ukrainian political and military organizations as "fighters for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century." The bill, which awaits President Poroshenko's signature, also bans criticism of these groups, including the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) that collaborated with the Nazis.
I also want to bring to your attention a
story about Russian Jewish veterans of WWII, and the complexity of their war memories.
Lastly, I invite you to join us for NCSEJ's Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, June 2, at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C. Our program will feature U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin, a panel with the ambassadors from Estonia and Bulgaria, and updates from international Jewish organizations. For more information, and to register, please visit
Mark B. Levin