Friday, February 14, 2020

Ukraine: Escaping anti-Semitism, 184 immigrants arrived in Israel on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s Diaspora Ministry published its report on anti-Semitism in 2019. According to the report, Ukraine was one of the countries in the former Soviet Union that had actually seen a decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents overall. Nevertheless, anti-Semitic sentiment in Ukraine is still far from being eradicated. In fact, Ukraine saw an increase in the use of anti-Semitic rhetoric during the second half of 2019.

A significant number of the olim also said they felt threatened and were attacked on a frequent basis because of their Jewish identity. For the Shopotinsky family of four, moving from the city of Kryvyi Rih to Israel was a decision they made without any doubts or reservations. Alexander, the family’s father and husband, said: “I have always been proud of my Judaism. Despite the mocking and scorn I received from every angle, I did not change my family name. They would harass me and call me various insults attacking my Jewish identity. All of these challenges made it clear to me that there was no way I and my wife Victoria (35) would allow our children, Sergey (13) and Elizabetha (7) to grow up with similar, unfortunate experiences. It was therefore critical for us to bring our family to Israel where our children can live openly as Jews and be proud of their Judaism.” The Shopotinsky family plans to settle in the city of Haifa where the couple seeks to find work and adapt to life in Israel. […]  
Of the 184 olim from Ukraine that landed on Monday, 31 are children under eighteen, with the youngest being a one-year-old baby. The oldest oleh (new immigrant) is an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor. The city of Haifa is absorbing 20 olim, the largest portion of olim, followed by Netanya with 16 olim, Nahariya with 14 olim, Bat Yam and Acre each receiving 12 as well as Rishon LeZion and Kiryat Yam both of which are taking in 11 olim.
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