London: Jews and new Ukraine. Panel discussion.

Event date:
January 29, 2019 to January 29, 2019
Event location:
7:30 pm. Jewish Community Centre, London (JW3), 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

A new Ukrainian identity project is underway, taking the experiences and histories of all who live on the Ukrainian soil. How does Ukraine’s Jewish community fit into this mosaic and what is the significance of a new term for this community,” Ukrainian Jews? What is the role Jews play in contemporary Ukraine? What are the outcomes of the official politics of memory in today’s Ukraine? And what should we make of conflicting reports about Ukraine’s antisemitism?

This is a ticketed event. Please book here.

For more information, see The Ukrainian Institute London website.


Professor Yaroslav Hrytsak,
Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine

Iosif Zissels,
chairman of the Vaad Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine

Mark Freiman,
Board Member of Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, Toronto, Canada

Moderated by Peter Pomerantsev,
Senior Fellow, LSE Institute of Global Affairs

Speakers' bios

Yaroslav Hrytsak is Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Modern and Contemporary History of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Catholic University, visiting professor of the Central European University and honorary professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He is Editor-in-chief of the annual journal “Modern Ukraine”, member of editorial board of Ab Imperio, Critique, Slavic Review, member of the supervisory board of the Harvard Ukrainian Studies Magazine. Member of the Selection Committee to nominate candidates for the post of Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. Research interests: history of Eastern Europe 19-20 century intellectual history, the history and theory of nationalism.

 Josef Zissels is a Jewish public figure in Ukraine, member of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Executive Co-President of Vaad of Ukraine. From early 1970s he collaborated with the Jewish and other underground movements in the USSR, provided help to political prisoners and their families, collected and conveyed information on human rights violations in the territory of Western Ukraine. In 1977 Josef Zissels began to investigate the use of psychiatry for political purposes, worked with the relevant commission in Moscow. In the summer of 1978, he joined the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, and later spent six years in Soviet prison after being convicted for "slanderous fabrications that offend the Soviet state and social system". In 1989, Mr Zissels participated in the creation of the People's Movement of Ukraine, was a member of the Great Council, and in 1990 created the National Council of Ethnicities. He was actively involved into organising the First Congress of Jewish Organizations of the former USSR, was elected co-Chairman of the Vaad of the USSR. Since January 1991, Josef Zissels has been chairing the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities (Vaad) of Ukraine, and since 2001 holds the position of Executive Vice-President of the Congress of Ethnic Communities of Ukraine (CECU).

Mark J. Freiman practices law at the firm of Lerners LLP in Toronto. He has appeared in high profile cases at all levels of the Canadian legal system, including as lead counsel for the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 and the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the proceedings against Ernst Zündel and his internet hate site. From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Freiman was Deputy Attorney General for Ontario. He was President of the Canadian Jewish Congress and President of the Canadian Peres Centre for Peace Foundation. Mr. Freiman’s family is originally from Galicia. He is a principal figure in the “Return to Dignity” project in his father’s birthplace of Sambir, Ukraine. The aim of the project is rehabilitation of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Sambir and of the mass graves of Jewish victims of the “Holocaust by Bullets” in the cemetery and in the nearby forest at Ralivka.


DATE: 29 January 2019
TIME: 7:30pm
VENUE: Jewish Community Centre London (JW3), 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

This event is held in partnership with the Jewish Community Centre and supported by the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter.