(Chabad.info & Times of Israel) Ukraine's Chief Rabbi urged Jews to leave capital city Kiev following a anti-Semitic attack on two yeshiva students in the city. "I wont be leaving, I am a Shliach" he says.
“I told my community to get out of the city and if possible out of the state…there are many warnings about planned attacks against Jewish institutions,” Asman said, adding, “We have been told by the Israeli Embassy to not go outside.”
Many members of Kiev’s Jewish community live within walking distance of the main square in the city that has recently become the focus of anti-government riots. In recent days, chaos has gripped the area following the escalation of violence between government security forces and members of the opposition, with institutions around the city closing and subways no longer operating.
While Chief Rabbi Asman has been forced to close down the city’s Jewish schools, he continues to conduct three prayer services daily in his synagogue. “The situation here is dire,” said Yossi Asman, a Chabad yeshiva student and son of the chief rabbi. “We have been gathering up families and shuttling them out to safer neighborhoods.”
Yesterday a synagogue in eastern Ukraine sustained damage from firebombs hurled at it. The firebombs hit the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev.
Edward Dolinsky, head of the umbrella organization responsible for Ukraine’s Jews, said the city’s dwindling food supply has provoked a state of panic among Kiev’s inhabitants. “We have appealed to [Israeli] Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to please help us protect our community,” Dolinsky added.
Ukraine has a Jewish population of 360,000 – 400,000 people, with roughly a quarter of all the country’s Jews residing in Kiev, according to the European Jewish Congress.
(He appealed to the Israeli Foreign Minister to do… what? I’m sure they could send some extra El Al planes to fly the Jewish community out, if they are ready to abandon their property and flee to Israel. Beyond that?)