Kiev: Shluchim Lead INTL Delegation to Site of Mass Murder



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    Kiev: Shluchim Lead INTL Delegation to Site of Mass Murder

    On January 27, International Holocause Remembrance Day, representatives of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, Chabad’s umbrella organization in the Post-Soviet nation, hosted a commemoration ceremony at Babi Yar in Kiev, the site of one of the most horrendous massacres in all of World War II. Director of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine Rabbi Meir Stambler, Deputy Director Rabbi Rafael Rutman, together with Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, diplomat Oliver Varhelyi, and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Estonian diplomat Matti Maasikas visited the site for the ceremony commemorating the victims of the Holocaust • Full Story, Photos

    On January 27, International Holocause Remembrance Day,  representatives of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, Chabad’s umbrella organization in the Post-Soviet nation,  the European Commission, as well as the European Union commemorated the Holocaust at Babi Yar in Kiev, the site of one of the most horrendous massacres in all of World War II.

    Director of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine Rabbi Meir Stambler, Deputy Director Rabbi Rafael Rutman, together with Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, diplomat Oliver Varhelyi, and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Estonian diplomat Matti Maasikas visited the site for the ceremony commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.

    Cruel and horrific crimes took place at Babi Yar over 80 years ago in addition to the myriad crimes against humanity occurring all over Europe. The Nazi occupation destroyed almost the entire Jewish community in Kiev at the time.

    Babi Yar remains a powerful symbol of the horror of the Holocaust and the unforgivable sin of the Nazis. Indeed, it is still difficult to speak and impossible to understand an event of such horror and magnitude.

    The overwhelming message of last week’s ceremony was to prevent a repeat of Babi Yar from ever happening.

    “If only history, only death, only Babi Yar remained,” said Rabbi Stambler, “and there was no development of the Jewish community in the future, Jewish schools, kindergartens, youth movements, synagogues – that would be one thing.

    “But I am sure that the souls of these people who were brutally murdered are with us, they pray for us and rejoice and are proud that they have lived to a time when, after 70 years of the communist regime, which tried to hide the fact and scale of the tragedy, the Jewish life is being revived, people honor their memory and pray for them, asking the Almighty for peace in our country.”

    He asked to pray for the souls of the dead, for peace in the country, and for no war in Ukraine or in other country in the world.

    The momentous event comes at a time when anti-Semitism has been on the rise globally, especially in Europe.

    “We are here today to redouble our efforts to counter the hatred that led to the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism is a threat not only to Jewish communities and Jewish life, but to our entire society.
    You can count on the commitment of the European Commission and the European Union. Any form of anti-Semitism, hate speech or violence is unacceptable and inconsistent with our values. These principles are non-negotiable for the European Commission,” said Mr. Varhelyi.

    The European Commissioner also noted that he would like to develop new projects funded by the EU in order to protect and develop Jewish life, promote a better understanding of Jewish life and traditions, organize intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and promote the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust in schools and universities across the continent.























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    Kiev: Shluchim Lead INTL Delegation to Site of Mass Murder



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