A reader wrote…
I just wanted to comment on your post regarding Ukrainian Jews.
I think that your comment regarding "abandoning their property" was harsh and unfair. I had the misfortune of spending a month in the Ukraine and it is a miserable, backward and intensely anti-semitic country. The situation of many Jews that I saw there was just heartbreaking. Many are elderly, holocaust survivors.
It's mainly an aging, and weak community. If they don't leave I don't think that it's because of clinging onto their wealth. They're still drawing water from wells and don't have telephones in their homes, and there's absolutely nothing to buy there.
B"D Hashem should bring them all home safely.
I grant that I may have applied Western standards to a non-Western Jewish community in saying they could flee if they are ready to abandon their property. But, given the conditions you describe and the increasing risks of anti-semitic semi-fascist anti-government native Ukrainian groups on one side and an aggressive Russia on the other – and a significant percentage of the community having the option of making aliyah to Israel with costs covered by the Israeli government, what’s holding them in place?