Ukrainian Jews Prepare for Worst, Pray for Best and Vow to Stay

Jewish community leaders tell Haaretz they are not currently preparing to leave Ukraine. ‘I cannot, as a rabbi, just pack my suitcases and go to Israel and leave everybody behind,’ says one situated close to the Russian border

Sam Sokol
Sam Sokol
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Sam Sokol
Sam Sokol

Jewish leaders across Ukraine are working feverishly to prepare their communities for the rigors of warfare, even as the prospect of a Russian invasion is bringing back old traumas for those displaced during previous rounds of fighting.

“I prefer not to speak about this, not to think about this,” said Shalom Gopin, a Kyiv-based rabbi who was displaced, along with most of his congregants, from the eastern city of Luhansk in 2014.

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