Ukrainian Jewish Encounter presents book to Israeli volunteer in the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Grigory Pivovarov, an Israeli citizen and volunteer in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, holds the book Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence, published with the support of UJE.

Recently, Jews throughout the world celebrated Rosh Hashanah 5784, the Jewish New Year. Despite wartime conditions, Ukraine was the destination of tens of thousands of Hasidic pilgrims, who came to celebrate this important holiday in the city of Uman, where their spiritual leader, Rabbi Nachman, is buried.

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian occupation forces has lasted for more than a year and a half. Every day, the country is subjected to vicious missile attacks not just near the front line but in most large and small cities.

Anyone observing the festive atmosphere and the pilgrims singing and dancing in Uman would think that large numbers of Jews are in Ukraine at the same time under completely different circumstances and for a totally different reason.

Among the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (ZSU) who are heroically defending the land of Ukraine and the lives of civilians are many volunteers, citizens of various countries. One of them is Grigory Pivovarov, a citizen of Israel. His combat path began back in 2014 when Russian troops occupied the territory of Ukraine's Donbas region. Today, Grigory is the commander of an assault platoon of the 24th Separate Assault Battalion "Aidar" of the ZSU. During the eighteen-month full-scale invasion, his unit fought in the battles of Volnovakha, Mariupol, Vuhledar, and Bakhmut. After being wounded, he was awarded two medals, "For Bravery," III and II classes; he received the latter medal this year from President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

Grigory is fascinated by the history and culture of Ukraine and her lands, especially the topic of Ukrainian-Jewish relations. At this fighter's request, the Ukraine regional office of Ukrainian Jewish Encounter sent the book Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence, posting it to him at the front.

It is gratifying and hope-inspiring to know that our defenders, who are hundreds and even thousands of kilometers from their homes and despite extremely difficult conditions, continue to read books and revere the history and culture of Ukraine and her peoples.

Vladyslav Hrynevych,
Manager UJE, Ukraine.

Translated from the Ukrainian by Marta D. Olynyk.