Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev's Jews to flee city

Fearing violence against Ukraine's Jews, the Jewish community asks Israel for assistance with the security of the community.

Protesters stand guard in front of presidential administrative building in central Kiev, Ukraine.
Protesters stand guard in front of presidential administrative building in central Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. / Photo by AP
By Haaretz
Published 16:20 22.02.14

Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev's Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city's Jews will be victimized in the chaos, Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday.

"I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too," Rabbi Azman told Maariv. "I don't want to tempt fate," he added, "but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions."

According to the paper's report Azman closed the Jewish community's schools but still holds three daily prayers. He said the Israeli embassy told members of the Jewish community to avoid leaving their homes.

Edward Dolinsky, head of the umbrella organization of Ukraine's Jews described the situation in Kiev as dire, telling Maariv "We contacted Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman requesting he assist us with securing the community."

Protesters in the Ukrainian capital claimed full control of the city Saturday following the signing of a Western-brokered peace deal aimed at ending the nation's three-month political crisis.

President Viktor Yanukovych is still in Ukraine, a senior security source told Reuters on Saturday following reports his residence was empty and unguarded and his Kiev offices were in the hands of protesters.

Correction (Feb. 22, 4:20 P.M.): An earlier version of this report incorrectly described Rabbi Azman as the chief rabbi of Ukraine. Azman is not the country's chief rabbi, but one of two rabbis challenging the official chief rabbi, Yaakov Bleich, in Kiev.



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  • 38.
    Sorry, I simply can not understand why any Jew's would stay in a country of Jewish haters....They have been killing Jews for hundreds of years...I have zero for them, they should go to Israel or the U.S. or Canada or anywhere outside of the killing fields of Europe.....
  • 37.
    Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev's Jews to flee city
    The falsification of history genocide OUN and the UPA - advocacy activities undertaken by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Stepan Bandera and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in order to negate the responsibility of these organizations for genocide against the Poles during the Volyn massacre and ethnic cleansing in Eastern Galicia. These activities included the creation of a false interpretation of the events, destruction and falsification of evidence, denial, hiding and concealing the crime and to make excuses for them. Produced in this way by the Ukrainian nationalist interpretation of history became established in parts of historiography, especially in the Ukrainian emigration and contemporary Ukraine, found political support and influence the beliefs of the Ukrainian society. For a specific form of denial of the crime is considered a politically motivated aware of her silencing. Ukrainian nationalists murdered the Jews and Ukrainians unfavorable UPA and help the Poles, and liquidated collaborators during the first Soviet occupation from 1939 to 1941. Many of the victims were also among those in mixed marriages. According to calculations Siemaszko in Volyn during the years 1941-1945 at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists killed: 846-847 Ukrainians, 1,210 Jews, 342 Czechs, Russians 135-136 and 70 people of other nationalities yet. This data is far niepełne.Ofiarami ethnic cleansing was also a small community of Polish Armenians in Galicia, murdered for attachment to Polish culture (remembered that the Armenian Archbishop Joseph Teodorowicz strongly advocated membership in Lviv to Polish). On 19-21 April 1944 in Kuty over Cheremosh in Pokucie (called small capital of Polish Armenians), killed around 500 Polish Armenians and Poles.
  • 36.
    Go home Jews
    Your "promised land" awaits you.
  • 35.
    Oy Vey
    By a shoah hands, who thinks this is serious for us or the goys? It's like another Holocaust! Circumcise them and put them in Guantanamo!
  • 34.
    Jews were behind communism in Russia and the rest of Eastern Rueope and slaughtered 30 million Ukrainians, in addition to getting expelled 109 times from their host countries. Jews right now, today, are the ones behind letting blacks, muslims and other third-world scum into white countries: England, France, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Australia, America, etc.
  • jews
    It is true!
  • 33.
    Kremlin Rabbi
    Propaganda! What about Jewish "stonia" in Maydan?
  • 32.
    Do you know that all opposition leaders - Klitshko,Yatseniuk and Timoshenko are jewish? Is it normal a christian contry to be ruled by jews? That's why jews are fearing of victimizing!!!
  • "Do you know that all opposition leaders... are jewish?"
    Like the former British PM Disraeli, current Venezuela President Maduro and his main opponent Morales, like hundreds prominent leaders around the World, and like Jesus Christ. If it is not normal for you, take a pill.
  • no they arent
    check your facts (take a look at wikipedia), not one of the three you mentioned is jewish
  • 31.
    kremlin propaganda =(
    Jewish community is respectable part of our city - and much of jews support Maidan. "The next fascism will call itself antifascism" - Winston Churchill had clear vision of future of Russia =(
  • 30.
    Old Russian Propaganda
    Smells like old Russian propaganda... you should be ashamed of writing such nonsense. Next time write an article about how democratic Russia is, at least will be funny :DD
  • 29.
    the situation-evacuation
    It would be my desire to have all us Jews in Israel as that is the safest place for us. I understand that the east is unstable but when you bond together as a group you are better able to defend each other. One must be proud to be who they are, a Jew, this fact never changes as it encoded in their DNA. Many people hate on us for who we are and try to destroy our line. So whether or not Ukraine is a threat is not as important as always being ready to defend ourselves and our brethren. Study history and the Torah it shows in now uncertain terms just how easy it is to loose a tribe, a nation, a line. So stay alert no matter the city/country because you never know what may happen. Being a Jew is like being vermin to some and antisemitism is still very much alive. So arguing over Ukraine is semantics, focus on the bigger picture.
  • 28.
    The U.S. is Supporting Facsism in the Ukraine
    The United States is supporting the fascist takeover of the Ukraine. The US Government, in the name of "market freedom" and its own geopolitical interests, is more than willing to support the neo nazi takeover in the Ukraine if it means western corporations can have access to new markets. -An American Jew
  • 27.
    Don't trust the us
    The us in their geopolitical interests are more than ready to support fascism when it suits them Chicago, il
  • 26.
    Does that mean that they will suffer the fate of the Turkish Jews?
    Does that mean that they will suffer the fate of the Turkish Jews? Due to the psychological terror inflicted by Erdoğan's rule in the aftermath of the Gaza strikes by Hamas and the Mavi Marmara provocation, 40% of Turkish Jews made a mass exodus from Turkey, reducing the community form 25,000 to 14,000! I hope the same thing doesn't happen to Ukrainian Jews.
  • Where did they go?
  • 25.
    convenient for israel....
  • 24.
    Best army in the world
    Why doesn't Israel do an airlift? If it's that bad.....
  • because its not that bad.
  • 23.
    Ukrainian fascists would agree!
    I'm sure that the Ukrainian neo-Nazis who provided the shock troops for this NATO coup would heartily agree with the suggestion that Jews leave Kiev and the Ukraine. Those Europeans who don't want Jews in their countries usually have no problem with Jews occupying the lands of Arabs and other non-European peoples.
  • 22.
    Assman - correction
    1, Assman does not speak for the Jews of Ukraine 2, Assman is not recognized by the Chabad world HQ 3, He should flee
  • 21.
    "Don't trust him" caveat
    Whoever added "alligned with Kremlin" to the news should be hold responsible for any consequences Kiev and Ukrainian Jews mihgt bear at hand of neonazi, extremist protesters who are now taking control of the capital.
  • 20.
    When Svoboda got 10% of the vote
    That was a sign to make a orderly escape.
  • 19.
    Democracy is coming, from the U - S - A
  • 18.
    What is going on?
    My jewish friends, I don´t know what is wrong with american Jews, but they seem to be united with the antisemtic fascists from Berlin via London to Washington. First they attacked Serbia and supported the croatian, bosnian and albanian fascists and islamists and now the same in Ukraine against Russia. WIll Israel be the next, since they seem to support the Islamists around you?
  • 17.
    So why is the wJewish community asking Israel for assistance to insure their safety? Little known to sympathizers of Ukraine's uprising is that most anti-government protesters harbor ultra-nationalist feelings as well as anti-semetism. One must also question why US senator John McCain and US Dept of State officials are giving their open support to these ultra-nationalist?
  • 16.
    Provide Security to Ukraine's Jews
    Why anger on innocent Jews? Is this what EU wanted by supporting the prottesters?
  • 15.
    Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev's Jews to flee city?
    Why should they flee? Did they do anything wrong? Aren´t they Ukrainian firstars.?
  • You are an idiot tony
    that shows how little you know of Jewish history. You are an idiot!!!
  • New Ukraine is good for the Jews
    Azman thinks that Putin is good for the jews. Society can not be based on corruption.New society in Ukraine is good for the jews.
  • 14.
    Attacks on Jews
    Its hard being Jew. Somebody has to get the blame. Putin to the rescue?
  • 13.
    Given Ukrainian
  • 12.
    Don't Run
    This is not WWII or leading up to it. There is more violence towards Jewish people in France than in the Ukraine at this time. Do not be afraid, because the world is watching and I have not heard from either side that they want to scapegoat anyone. Don't run and stand with you countrymen. If things change, Israel will welcome you with open arms.
  • 11.
    Why? Because part of the rioters (and opposition) are extreme right and nazi sympathizers.
  • 10.
    Putin stooge rabbi's rant
    The correction in this article says it all: Moshe Azman is a Chabad rabbi with extremely close ties to Chabad in Moscow, and Chabad in Moscow acts like Putin's poodle--pretending to bark but can only yap. It would be ideal of Moshe Azaman would flee Ukraine, although the people he pays every day to come to minyan wouldn't much like that.
  • rabbi tells kiev's Jews to flee
    Nothing to do with being pro Kremlin. Rabbi is very right to worry, when he hears nazi marches , th at you play constantly , observe nazi salutes that you give to one another, he is just using common sense.
  • Isabella, rein your silly fantasy.
    There are no Nazi marches or Nazi salutes in Ukraine.
  • rabbi
    didn'tknow Putin's trolls are even here
  • 9.
    Notice that the Rabi is "aligned with the Kremlin"
    Dear Haaretz, Thanks for the correction that Azman is aligned with the Kremlin. However, you should have stated this in the very first sentence. The Kremlin has been waging a propaganda campaign against the Ukrainian demonstrators by stating that they are all fascists and Nazis. This is a massive lie. Jews have nothing to fear in Ukraine and have been an integral part of the Euromaidan revolution. Jews have stood together with their Christian and Muslim brothers in getting rid of the band of Kremlin controlled criminals and everyone on the Maidan is aware of this and grateful. The only fear may be if the Kremlin tries to create some provocations by attacking Jews and blaming it on the Euromaidan revolutionaries. There already were some attempts at similar provocations during the last few months though they were nipped in the bud by the Jewish community in Kiev.
  • ukrainian rabbi aksk jews to flee kiev.
    Nice words, every individual Jew will decide for himself who he wants to support , the same a all the citizents of Ukraine, Christians, ateists, Muslims. Unfortunately, some groops in maydan were playing German nazi marches from the Second World war. Your hero is Bandera, whose people massacred hundreds of thousands Jews in Ukraine, like in Babi Yar, and hundreds of other places..
  • 8.
    This is a kind of propaganda Israel is creating to get support in the peace talks...
  • 7.
    Why should the Jewish people in the country be so afraid? Unless they've been supporting the loser, that is. But so far, the protesters have been maintaining order and security, preventing looting and actually helping the police, now that the police are no longer taking orders from Yanukovich.
  • Why.???. Do some research on the pogroms and the Ukrainian holocaust then you will have your answer as to why.
    Because the killing of Jews is a historic Ukrainian past time. They were even more vicious than the nazis in their efforts at Jew hunting and killing. When the German soldiers got tired of killing thousands of men, women and children they just called in the Ukrainians to help and finish the job. The bones of many of my relatives killed in the Ukrainian programs mostly initiated and blessed by the priests lie in mute protest in the killing grounds of the Ukraine.
  • ukrainian rabbi tells kiev's jews to flee the city
    What do you mean by unless/? And what if they supported? Also Jews, like any other people have different views, some supported , and some didn't., the same as Ukrainians. Are you advocating points scoring, in other words now punishing the side that lost? What another Syria in Ukraine, well good luck, mr Ukrainian.
  • 6.
    Another Shoah?
    Why is it that every time a new political force takes over, Jewish individuals feel it will automatically lead to reprisal against Jews? You must be racist against us goyim to think we're that violent.
  • They always go after the Jews first
    It's been happening since the beginning of time. It's because they are the minority. It's the easy way out. The Ukrainians are actually worse anti Semites than the polish, and at the end of this little temper tantrum that they are having, have no fear, they will blame the Jews. And then they will get welfare money from the EU on a job well done. Then they will take out more loans from the world bank, loans that they will never pay back. Then they will riot again after other people's $ runs out. Then Russia steps in throws them a bone and the cycle starts all over again ... In case your wondering.
  • Short answer: Experience
  • 5.
    Nothing to fear from our relatives in Ukraine !
    Mr . Prime Minister of Israel did not support the call of ( Ukranian rabbi ) addressing the Jews to leave their home land !? and if I were the Foreign Minister I will do the same .
  • 4.
    Dead wrong instinct?
    When you see the RED/Black flag as symbol of Bandera fascist on the top of th house of parliament, or president palace ...... When you hear : Corruption is good (abolition of Tymoshenko) Tell me some more about a wrong instinct. :-)
  • 3.
    Are you sure?
    Why the recommendation appeared just now? Till yesterday everything was safe? Perhaps yanukovych asked you to do it?
  • 2.
    Tell Ukrainian Jews to come to Israel They have better places to be
  • and grab some more Palestinian lands maybe.
  • Tony why is Jews escaping Massacre
    such an abhorrent thought to you? Do you know that when the Jews returned to their villages in Poland in 1945 after the holocaust many were thrown from the mountaintops by the Poles. Haven't you learned anything being one of most ardent expounders of Jew hatred on these pages. It seems no matter who tells you just how entrenched your racist views are you have an uncanny ability to overlook any point or argument that paints the Jew as a normal person. Shame on you , Bigot.
  • 1.
    political instinct of the rabbi is dead wrong
    it is tragic how jews often rely on dictatorial regimes with blood on their hands hoping to guarantee them security. Ukraine is not Egypt. You have nothing to fear from a democratic Ukraine. By doing what this rabbi is doing he is perpetuating tragic mistrust and hate towards to jews who, again, seem traitors in the national cause. Don't forget the regime only two days ago sent snipers to shoot at the civilians killing a 100. How do you think people feel hearing that the jews are still supporting it? Even the police and security services switched to the opposition. The democratic process is already taking place. what a tragic error of the rabbi, again!
  • Given the history of Ukrainian butchery not only Jews but Poles too
    The Rabbi's caution is absolutely valid. Why is it that only Jews have to prove their loyalty? Arabs in Israel don't have to prove their loyalty, Ukrainians abroad don't have to prove theirs. After the long history of atrocities committed by Ukrainians against the Jews, it they who must prove that they are at least somewhat civilized. Didn't you build a monuments to Chmielnicki and Bandera?
  • instinct
    Don´t worry about the instinct of people who were victims of the Holocaust. Jews and Russians are again under attack and should stand together.
  • Ukrainian rabbi urges kiev's flee kievjews to
    I don't care how your people feel, get it? Jews hear the nazi marches from the Second World war, played in Maydan, they can see the nazi salut that your people give, and they feel threatened. And you dare to lecture us on and tell us that Jews are again traitors to national cause? And you were not traitors when you massacred our women and children in Baby Yar? lGo to hell.
  • Isabella, stop your lies at last!
  • wkurw
    What do yuo mean by you? Ukrainians? Germans killed people in Babi Yar, at least during the world war 2 ( it was NKVD execution site before war)
  • "The democratic process is already taking place“
    ...since 1991, not since yesterday or 2004.
  • let us not forget the haidamak bastards too
    the same host who's grandchildren sided with hitler during the war
    So far we have only read what the Rabbi say.