NCSJ Weekly
  News Update


NEWS ....

April 18, 2014

TO: NCSJ Leadership and Interested Parties

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

Due to a technical difficulty, we were unable to distribute the NCSJ Weekly Update on Friday by email.

Dear Friend,

As you've most likely already seen, it has been a troubling week for Jews in Ukraine.

While celebrations of Passover have gone on almost as normal, Russia's annexation of Crimea and continued pro-Russia activity in Eastern Ukraine have created an extremely tense atmosphere.

On top of that, there was a disturbing anti-Semitic incident in Eastern Ukraine earlier this week. A number of anti-Semitic fliers were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue. NCSJ has been in frequent, direct contact with the Donetsk Jewish community and with government officials since we learned of this incident.

We spoke today with Yehuda Kelerman, Deputy Chairman of the Donbass Regional Association of Jewish Congregations, which includes Donetsk. He said that law enforcement authorities have reported that they do not yet know who was behind this action.

He reported that people in ski masks came twice to post these fliers. The first time, people immediately destroyed them. They came again later at 1:30 a.m. when no one was around to stop them, though the synagogue's camera recorded them.

I also want to report on a story just beginning to get Western attention. A Kazakh magazine recently published an issue allegedly extolling Nazi ideology, with Hitler on the cover.

According to Kazakh news reports, the government has already responded to this case and has concluded that the issue "violates the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan concerning the incitement of social, national, racial and religious hatred." In response, the magazine's editor justified its publication as a reminder and warning "to save us all from the dangerous policy of the Russian Empire, which is trying to restore Nazi-chauvinistic ideology again."

NCSJ reached out today to the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States to register our concern about the publication of such dangerous material.

As always, we will keep you updated on the latest developments on these stories and throughout the region.

Best regards for the end of the Passover holiday.

Chag Pesach Sameach,

Mark B. Levin
Executive Director

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About NCSJ

NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, founded in 1971, represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews living in the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union.

phone: 202-898-2500

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