Ukraine-Israel: bridges of cooperation and volunteering
The cooperation between the volunteers of Israel and Ukraine began immediately after the victory of the Maidan in February-March 2014. The first joint project was the dispatch and treatment of the wounded from the Maidan to hospitals in Israel. Cooperation then developed in the humanitarian, cultural, educational, political, and even military spheres.
Over the course of 2014-2017, volunteer organizations in both countries accumulated a wealth of experience in partnership. There was a need to meet and exchange thoughts, and the idea of holding a seminar for volunteers of Israel and Ukraine was born. Friends and colleagues met at a seminar in Kyiv, which ran from 10-12 December 2017, with the support of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter. Below are videos and synopses of the seminar presentations.
The videos are in Ukrainian and Russian.
Activists of the NGO “Israeli Friends of Ukraine” presented their activities during the seminar of Israeli and Ukrainian volunteers in Kyiv from 10-12 December 2017.
Viacheslav Feldman on the creation of the non-profit group “Israeli Friends of Ukraine.” The program “A Relay Race for Good” sends humanitarian assistance from Israel to Ukraine with the support of Ukraine International Airlines. The amount delivered includes 750 boxes, with more than 11 tons in 47 shipments in three years. Three hundred anti-sniper camouflage caps were sewn. There was good military feedback. These hats actually saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers in the ATO war zone.
Yana Lemkin on the photo exhibition “Ukraine-Israel between War and Peace”, which was shown in five cities of Ukraine. The project “A Chance for Life” helps sick children in Ukraine.
The festival “Ethnokhutor” was held three times with great success in Israel, gathering more than one thousand guests every time.
Anna Zharova noted that with the support of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Hennadiy Nadolenko, activist Timur Mamedov participated in an internship program at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine.
Public organizations of Ukraine in partnership with colleagues from Israel spoke about their projects and activities.
Vladislav Hrynevych, Jr. on the activities of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter’s Kyiv office: preparation and realization of the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar commemorative program, held in September 2016, and the publication of books on Ukrainian-Jewish relations.
Anastasia Kolomiets is the coordinator of the project to create the Babyn Yar International Center for the Holocaust. The educational initiative disseminates information in Ukraine about the tragedy of Babyn Yar. A public council has been created to guide and support the project. The narrative and the concept of the center are being developed. The organization confirmed the site and conducted a study that identified the boundary of the former Jewish cemetery.
Anastasia Popsuy, secretary of the city council of Irpin. A team of public activists leads the city. “We defeated corruption and constructed 140 buildings.”
Anna Radchenko, representative of the charity environmental fund, “Let’s do it!”
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Questions and answers of participants.
Honorary Consul of Israel in Western Ukraine Oleg Vishnyakov on political partnership and mutual assistance of the two countries.
Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe-Reuven Azman greeted the participants of the seminar: “The darkness is not dispersed with a stick—it takes a little light to disperse a lot of darkness. May the Almighty bless you for your good deeds and give peace to Ukraine. ”
Comments Rabbi Azman and Alexander Gooch, a wounded activist from the Maidan, whom Rabbi Azman sent to Israel for treatment in March 2014.
Anna Zharova, Israeli Friends of Ukraine.
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Oleg Vishniakov: “Relations between Ukraine and Israel are first of all relations between people. The group of (parliamentary) friends with Israel comprises more than 120 deputies, the largest group in the Verkhovna Rada”.
Ukrainians well understand the Israelis in their fight against terror. Volunteerism plays a major role in both Ukraine and Israel. The military psychologists of Israel conducted training for the rehabilitation of Ukrainian ATO soldiers. It is necessary to work more actively with Knesset deputies, disseminating more information about the Holodomor. Israel feels Ukraine’s warmth and support.”
Text: Shimon Briman (Israel).
Edited by Peter Bejger.
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