Odessa, Ukraine Jews Prepare for Emergency Evacuation

Monday, May 5, 2014


Odessa’s Jewish community is prepared to evacuate should the violence in the western Ukrainian city get significantly worse, this according to community leaders.

Odessa, a port city of more than 1 million, is home to some 30,000 million Jews, down from nearly 40 percent of the city’s population before the Holocaust.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Running street battles between pro-Russian and nationalist forces claimed dozens of lives in the Black Sea port this weekend, culminating in the burning of dozens of pro-Russian protesters in the city’s trade union building on Friday evening.

The Odessa bloodshed came on the same day that Kiev launched its biggest push yet to reassert its control over separatist areas in the east, hundreds of kilometers away, where armed pro-Russian rebels have proclaimed a “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”

Rabbi Refael Kruskal, head of the Tikva organization, which runs a network of orphanages and schools and provides social services to the city’s elderly – several of the wounded from Friday’s clashes were Jews, and the community is taking all necessary precautions.

“Over the weekend we closed the [Great Choral] Synagogue,” Kruskal said. “We took all the students out of the center of the city where the violence was, because we were worried it was going to spread. We sent a text message to everybody in the community on WhatsApp that they should stay at home over the weekend.”

While the synagogue, which is located close to the site of Friday’s clashes, was reopened Sunday morning, Kruskal said he planned on closing it again later in the day.

There are a number of evacuation plans, ranging from relocating within the city to sending community members to Kishinev, two-and-a-half hours away in neighboring Moldova.

The Jewish community, he added, is hunkering down and trying to ride out the storm.

President Obama has made it clear the American military is off limits to help stop the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladamir Putin is in total control.

This entry was posted in International News, Jews, News, President Barack Obama, Russia, Ukraine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Odessa, Ukraine Jews Prepare for Emergency Evacuation

  1. DMason says:

    What a sad commentary on humanity. Fascist dictator Putin joke and dances at the Washington DC Correspondence ball while Ukraine burns and Jews are planning to flee for their lives.

  2. Peace Nick says:

    Moldova? This tiny, defenseless nation can do nothing to halt the onslaught of Russian military as Putin tries to rebuild Mother Russia. I would argue the Ukrainian Jews go to Israel or the USA. What is happening in eastern Europe is terrifying and yes, anti-Semitism is on the rise.

  3. ChiTOM says:

    I must ask, why don’t the Ukraine Jews stay and defend their nation? Instead of being chased from their land, their homes, and their synagogues. I’m certain Ukraine’s military could use the help of young, healthy men to push back against the pro-Russian thugs.

  4. Randy Arroyo says:

    The civil war is underway. Don’t wait. Leave now before it’s too late.

  5. Matteo says:

    Nazism has returned as Putinism. Jews in Eastern Europe should be very afraid.


  6. woyoyo says:

    In speech after speech, President Vladamir Putin refers to “the new Russia”

    The cornerstone to make “the new Russia” is pulling eastern European back into the control of Russia, a la, the Soviet Union.

    While President Barack Obama devoted 95% of his time and energy to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, in the part of the world where Russia and eastern European reside, the nexus of power was changing. What little energy Obama gave to international affairs, assisting in toppling Qaddafi and Mubarak, to name two, Obama missed the opportunity stop the rise of Mother Russia.

    Odessa Jews need to leave but not to Moldavia. Speeches given by Putin mention returning Moldavia to the waiting arms of the Great Bear.

  7. TOM339 says:

    Poll: Most Americans Oppose Obama, Support Israel

    The White House’s recent policies against Israel do not reflect the will of the American people, according to a recent poll.

    The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) released the results of a nationwide survey this month revealing that the vast majority of Americans support Israel on nearly every major issue addressed in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

    The survey recorded the responses of over 1000 American citizens from various populations – not just the Jewish community – and was conducted by McLaughlin Associates, a well-known polling organization.

    Among those polled in the representative sample, 46% of respondents were Protestant, 30% were Catholic, and 3.6% were Jewish; by ethnicity, 13% were African Americans, 12% were Hispanics, 3% were Asian, and 70% were Caucasian, according to the organization. The religious and ethnic breakdown reflects the American population as a whole.

    The survey also attempted to cover the political spectrum; 42% of respondents identified themselves as Republican, and 41% as Democrats.

    Based on the poll, a majority – 51% – of Americans believe that US President Barack Obama has not done all he can to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons, as opposed to just 28% who believe that he has.

    A large majority of Americans – 59% – believe that the stronger sanctions should be imposed on Iran to convince it to stop developing nuclear weapons, as opposed to just 17% who say the West should weaken sanctions on Iran to convince it to stop developing nuclear weapons.

    47% of Americans believe that Israeli Jews should have the right to live in Judea and Samaria (Shomron); among other reasons, Israel will be better able to defend itself with a large population living in that region. Only 14% of Americans believe that only Palestinian Arabs should have the right to live in the region.

    An overwhelming majority of 72% of Americans oppose Obama’s plan to give the Palestinian Authority (PA) $440 million in a plan recently proposed by the President, as opposed to a mere 15% who believe that he should.

    A large majority of 55% of Americans say that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel. Just 13% believe it should not. In addition, 63% of Americans believe that the PA should recognize Israel as the sovereign state of the Jewish people, whereas only 11% believe it should not.

    The most surprising statistic: only 31% of Americans believe that President Barack Obama is a close and reliable friend of Israel, as opposed to 38% who believe that he is not. The numbers stand in stark contradiction to the widespread belief that most Americans – and, until recently, most Israelis – believe that the US is Israel’s strongest ally.

  8. Rachel says:


    I appreciate your question but please think about this. How could 30,000 Jews in Odessa, many of whom are elderly, while others are just children, mount an effective “fight” against a Russian army numbering in tens-of-thousands? It would be a suicide mission with Russia the victor.

  9. I am a Senior wha was in 11th grade at end of ww2 and joined the navy in 49 ,there has not been a just war SINCE KOREA VIETNAM URAKE even President Kennedy was known to have said after 64 election to pull out of a unwinable WAR. who gains in these wars Only big Busseness for there greed for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  10. ALSO would like to add have seen 4 great Presidents in life tims F.D. Rosevelt J.F. Kennedy Bill Clinton and B Obama .war S—ks And will always be a money maker can travel as tourist now to Vietnam WHY then the then the war memorial with warriors names who fougt to make Bell helecopter and other bussiness money and help the stock market preform how much can the average american put into stock market and not having inside trading congress and senete know who will be awarded big contracts not ordinary sitizons get gov. to help fallen throughg the cracks in Vietnam Vets Homeless DRUG, treatment alcohol and phyk help or would rather start an other unwinable war and make big money for the chosen few ,its not there sons so who cares about the rest there just young and stupid and expendable . not bitter just lost grand son in Afganastan but he was expentable i guess.

  11. feminazi says:

    If any good news can be taken from Ukraine its the Jewish community has not been targeted by pro-Russian military forces. However, local rabbis are wise to prepare in the event of anti-Semitic violence occurs.

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