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Kyiv rabbi: Remember the Jews of Ukraine’s capital during megilah reading

Illustrative: Ukrainian Jewish refugees who fled the Russian invasion celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim at the Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue in Chisinau, Moldova, on March 16, 2022. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP)
Illustrative: Ukrainian Jewish refugees who fled the Russian invasion celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim at the Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue in Chisinau, Moldova, on March 16, 2022. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP)

A top rabbi in Kyiv urges those celebrating the Jewish festival of Purim to remember the Jews of Ukraine’s capital during the traditional megilah reading.

Rabbi Jonathan Markovitch, who returned to Kyiv after fleeing the Russian invasion, tells Israel’s Walla news site that a private security firm and Ukrainian troops are guarding the synagogue and Jewish community center.

“They sleep with us and eat with us and we feel safe with them and are very happy in their company,” he says.

The rabbi adds: “Today it’s a risk to read the megillah in Ukraine, but we are reading it live, not on Zoom… We will read the megillah across the world and whoever can should remember the Jews of Kyiv when he reads it.”

Regarding his decision to return, Markovitch says he wanted to help the Jews of Kyiv.

“These are the most miserable people possible. Jews who can’t leave for various reasons. Some are kids, women and the parents of men of enlistment age who didn’t want to leave them here alone. Some are old, disabled and sick,” he says.

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