17 of June,

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17 of June,

Weekly Torah portion:

Anti-Semitism in Ukraine

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine monitors, fixes and prevents incidents of anti-Semitism and intolerance towards Jews in Ukraine.

Any Jew who has suffered from anti-Semitism can contact the Jewish hotline of Ukraine «910» for comprehensive assistance.

How can we help

Recording cases of anti-Semitism

UJCU monitors and records cases of anti-Semitism in Ukraine. If you are a victim or witness of such incidents, please contact the contact center "910" by number 910 (free from mobile phones) or 0 800 600 910 (free from any phone)

Legal assistance

UJCU provides primary and secondary legal assistance, which includes the preparation of applications, inquiries and complaints to public authorities, as well as the preparation of claims and representation in court (if necessary)

Psychological help

For psychological counseling, please call 910 (free from mobile phones) or 0 800 600 910 (free from any phone)

How to apply

If you encounter any manifestations of anti-Semitism, call the UJCU hotline «910» (free from a mobile phone) or 0 800 600 910 (free from any phone). Contact center operators work from 9-00 to 21-00 every day, including Saturdays. *

* The work of the contact center «910» helps in the performance of the piczah nefesh mitz (saving lives, preserving life), which is based on the words of the Torah: “Do not stand [in idle] at the sight of the blood of your neighbor” (Lev. 19:16) and formulated in the Talmud (Sanh. 73a and Yoma 85a), where it is said that it is more important than the fulfillment of many prescriptions and laws, including the prohibitions of the Sabbath and holidays - “pikuah nefesh dohe et ha-Shabat” - “saving lives detracts Saturday”

What is Anti-Semitism

In its activities, the United Jewish Community of Ukraine is guided by the international definition of anti-Semitism. We use this term for the reason that the Ukrainian regulatory and legal framework does not contain a definition of anti-Semitism, and, accordingly, the list of actions that can be qualified as its manifestations. In this regard, the UJCU fully supports the initiative of the Ambassador of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lion to adopt an international definition of anti-Semitism.

On May 26, 2016, at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance or IHRA plenary meeting in Bucharest, it was decided to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism, which was recognized by international community. In 2017 this definition was approved by the European Parliament.

According to wording, offered by IHRA, anti-Semitism is a determined perception of Jews which is expressed in hatred towards them. Verbal and physical demonstrations of anti-Semitism are directed against Jews and nonJews and/or against their property, against Jewish communities and organizations and religious establishments.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

Anti-Semitism Reports in Ukraine

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine published a report on anti-Semitism in Ukraine for 2018. The report presents an analysis of the legislation of Ukraine and the summary statistics of cases of anti-Semitism recorded by the UJCU in 2018. The document also contains the public reaction and recommendations of the organization to overcome manifestations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine. The full version of the report can be found at the link.

Report for 2019 is available here.

Report for 2020 is available here.

Anti-Semitism in the Ukrainian legislation

On September 22, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law "On Prevention and Counteraction to Anti-Semitism in Ukraine," it was supported by 283 people's deputies. People's deputy Maxym Buzhansky was the author of the bill, and 49 people's deputies of Ukraine were the co-authors. On October 7, 2021, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed the Law "On Prevention and Counteraction to Anti-Semitism in Ukraine" №1770-IX.

As mentioned above, Ukrainian legislation does not contain a specific definition of the term “anti-Semitism”. Separate questions of counteraction and prohibition of any demonstrations of xenophobia and anti-Semitism are contained in some normative acts.

The Constitution of Ukraine of 28 June 1996 is the Fundamental Law of the country. This normative act enshrines the bases of equality of citizens’ rights, regardless of their racial or religious background.

According to the Constitution of Ukraine, citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law. There shall be no privileges or restrictions based on race, skin colour, political, religious, and other beliefs, gender, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, linguistic or other characteristics (art.25).

Criminal Code of Ukraine includes two articles which can be applied in the cases of anti-Semitism demonstration.

Article 442 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine defines genocide, as the act willfully committed for the purpose of total or partial destruction of any national, ethnic, racial, or religious group by extermination of members of any such group or inflicting grave bodily injuries on them, creation of life conditions calculated for total or partial physical destruction of the group, decrease or prevention of childbearing in the group, or forceful transferring of children from one group to another.

Article 161 of this code also says about violation of citizens' equality based on their race, nationality or religious preferences, disability and on other characteristics and defines it, as willful actions inciting national, racial or religious enmity and hatred, humiliation of national honor and dignity, or the insult of citizens' feelings in respect to their religious convictions, and also any direct or indirect restriction of rights, or granting direct or indirect privileges to citizens based on race, color of skin, political, religious and other convictions, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, linguistic or other characteristics.