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2014-02-28 digital edition

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February 28, 2014  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

Text: T T T

Just a nosh...

Complied from JTA news service

Jewish Agency offering emergency help to Ukraine Jews

JERUSALEM — The Jewish Agency said it would offer immediate emergency assistance to the Jewish community of coup-ravaged Ukraine and help secure its institutions. Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky’s announcement came hours after deadly protests in the former Soviet republic forced President Viktor Yanukovych to flee Kiev.

Some 200,000 Jews live in Ukraine, mostly in the capital of Kiev, according to the Jewish Agency.

The Jewish Agency will help Ukraine through its Emergency Assistance Fund for Jewish Communities, which enables Jewish communities at risk to strengthen security measures. Sharansky said in a statement that Ukraine is “one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the world, with dozens of active Jewish organizations and institutions. Recent events have shown that we must strengthen these institutions’ security measures. We have a moral responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s Jews.”

Among the reports of violence was the firebombing of the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in the eastern Ukraine city of Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev. A website published photos showing traces of a fire on the facade of the synagogue balcony. The synagogue opened in 2012.

Meanwhile, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee said that it has activated emergency plans to help needy Jews in Crimea, which is home to about 17,000 Jews. The assistance includes delivering food and medicine to the homes of elderly and poor, establishing emergency phone chains and increasing security around Jewish community centers. The JDC said it has “prepared appropriate contingency plans in case the situation worsens.”

Musician’s uncle among Jewish troops to receive belated Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON – Twenty-four American soldiers, including the late uncle of musician Lenny Kravitz, will receive the Medal of Honor after most of them were overlooked because of anti-Jewish or anti-Hispanic prejudice.

The White House said in a statement that the medals to be awarded March 18 are the result of a review mandated by a 2002 law.

Three soldiers will receive the award in person from President Obama. Posthumous honors will go to other troops who fought in the Vietnam and Korean wars, as well as in World War II. The White House did not identify which of the awardees were Jewish or Hispanic.

Two Florida lawmakers, Rep. Ted Deutch and Sen. Bill Nelson, noted in separate statements that one of the Jewish awardees is Pvt. Leonard Kravitz, who died fending off Communist forces on March 6-7, 1951, near Yangpyong in Korea. The namesake of the musician faced an ambush with a machine gun, so his fellow troops could evacuate.

Mitchel Libman, a childhood friend of Kravitz now living in South Florida, had championed his cause for 50 years.

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