Hundreds of Jewish leaders from across the globe arrive at the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency taking place for the first time in Ukraine
Hundreds of Jewish leaders from across the globe arrive at the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency taking place for the first time in Ukraine

June 23, 2013 / 15 Tammuz 5773  

Sharansky to Jewish leaders: Since the fall of the Iron Curtain more than a million Jews from the former Soviet Union made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with the assistance of world Jewry

Today (23.06), the June meeting of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel opened in Kiev, Ukraine as hundreds of leaders of Jewish and Zionist organizations from across the globe and Israel arrived in the Ukrainian capital. This will be the first time that the Board of Governors meeting will take place in the former Soviet Union and not in Israel, and reflects the solidarity between world Jewry and Ukrainian Jewry.

Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky said at the opening plenary that since the fall of the Iron Curtain more than a million Jews from the former Soviet Union have made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with the assistance of world Jewry. Sharansky praised world Jewry for their contribution to the immigration of Soviet Jewry and noted that the Jewish Agency and world Jewry had raised over a billion dollars for the cause.

The Minister for Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver, congratulated Natan Sharansky on his election for an additional term as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and highlighted the fruitful cooperation between the Jewish Agency and the government of Israel. Minister Landver noted the important contribution that immigrants from the former Soviet Union, including doctors, artists, scientists and musicians had made to strengthening the State of Israel.

The Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine, Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, said at the opening plenary that this was one of the most important events in the 25 year history of the revitalized Jewish community in Kiev. He thanked the members of the Board of Governors and said; “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for coming to visit Ukraine.  That the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors—people who are active in helping our community—has come to visit our local Jewish community is of the utmost importance for us.  We hope it will be as important for you to be here as it is for us to have you here.”

The Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel is comprised of Jewish and Zionist organizations from around the world and meets three times a year, traditionally in Jerusalem, to hold in depth strategic discussions about issues affecting Israel and the Jewish world and to set policy for the Jewish Agency. During the meeting in Kiev members of the Board of Governors will meet with senior Ukrainian officials and with leaders of the Ukrainian Jewish community. They will be briefed about Jewish Agency programs and activities in Ukraine and will attend a ceremony at Babi Yar in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The opening event is taking place this evening and is sponsored by The World Forum of Russian Jewry, which is headed by the American-Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist, Alexander L. Levin. The event is being attended by Ukrainian government officials, Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency, James S. Tisch, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky and the Minister for Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver.

The Jewish community in Ukraine is one of the largest in the former Soviet Union and numbers around 200,000. Since the beginning of the wave of Aliyah (immigration to Israel) from the former Soviet Union in 1989, 330,000 Ukrainians have immigrated to Israel with the assistance of the Jewish Agency, many of them through special tracks for young immigrants and professionals. Each year, thousands of Ukrainians choose to immigrate to Israel and many hundreds participate in experiential educational programs such as Birthright and Masa Israel Journey.

For further details contact Benjamin Rutland, Spokesperson to the Foreign and English language media, the Jewish Agency for Israel, on 0526091099. 

Photo credit: Jewish Agency for Israel

 


 

 

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24 Jun 2013 / 16 Tamuz 5773 0