Thursday, June 21, 2012

Discussing Safety Concerns for Jews with Ukranian Officials

Today in Albany, I met with a delegation of elected officials from the Ukraine to discuss recent incidents of anti-Semitism there as well as safety concerns for Jewish residents and visitors to the Ukranian city Uman
Uman lost 17,000 Jews to Nazi slaughter but has seen a small Jewish population in Uman continue to grow since the 1990s. The new community is concentrated around Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s tomb.

In addition, more than 25,000 Jews visit Uman each year around Rosh Hashanah. But in recent years, violence has erupted between the Ukranian residents and the visitors.

Sergii Tulub (Governer of Cherkasy and the greater Uman area) led a Ukranian delegation to Albany to explore opportunities for bilateral business and economic cooperation with the state of New York. I took the opportunity to address not only safety issues for Jews in the Ukraine, but also had some suggestions for improving relationships with visitors and non-Jewish residents.

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