Politics 2021-03-03T04:02:11+02:00
Ukrainian news
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a symbol of solidarity between US and Ukrainian Jews - Boris Lozhkin

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a symbol of solidarity between US and Ukrainian Jews - Boris Lozhkin

Борис Ложкин. Фото: пресс-служба
Борис Ложкин. Фото: пресс-служба

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the United States of America became a refuge for tens of thousands of Jews who fled from the tsarist Russia, engulfed in Jewish pogroms. In 1904 alone, 105,000 Jews left the territory of present-day Ukraine for the United States. Among them was the great-grandfather of the current US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, writes the President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine Boris Lozhkin in the Jerusalem Post.

The Blinken family, like tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews, blended in the more tolerant society of the United States and were able to achieve prosperity in many areas – science, art, politics.

“Americans of Ukrainian Jewish descent include titans of 20th-century culture, such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Bernstein, and Steven Spielberg, as well as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to sit on the Supreme Court and whose ground-breaking work in gender discrimination helped make U.S. society more equal,” Lozhkin gives several examples.

Secretary Blinken has not forgotten his family’s history and the role America has played in supporting Jews across the globe in times of desperate need. But even now, the President of the JCU believes, even more than ever, we must all engage and lead in discussions of tolerance to ensure that Jews such as Blinken’s great-grandfather never again have to experience persecution and leave their homes behind.

After the pogroms of the beginning of the 20th century, followed by the Holocaust and Soviet repressions, by the time of gaining independence by Ukraine, the Jewish community of Ukraine, which was once the largest in the world, was reduced to several thousand people. However, the situation is fortunately different now. “Now I can proudly say that the Jewish community of Ukraine is growing and thriving. Ukraine is seeing a true renaissance of Jewish life,” writes Lozhkin. In his opinion, a great deal of credit for the revival of the Ukrainian Jewish community must go to the Jewish diaspora in the United States.

The new Secretary of State’s deep-felt respect for the values of liberty and religious freedom makes this a moment of great hope for the Ukrainian Jewish community, according to the President of the JCU.

“I have no doubt that Secretary Blinken, as well as the wider Biden administration, will engage closely and thoughtfully with Ukraine in these unprecedented and often difficult times,” Lozhkin writes.

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