Celebrating 30 years of Israel-Ukraine relations, global leaders, including Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, will discuss pressing issues facing Jewish communities worldwide.
The third annual Kyiv Jewish Forum is scheduled to take place on Dec. 15-16, featuring senior leaders from Ukraine, Israel, Europe and the United States.
The two-day virtual forum will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine. It is being co-hosted by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, the Center for Jewish Impact and the Combat Antisemitism Movement, according to a statement by the event organizers.
Participants will include Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Health Minister Viktor Liashko, along with Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai and Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov.
Other speakers will include Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.); Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.); European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life Katharina von Schnurbein; Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism Irwin Cotler; Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan; and Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Babyn Yar Foundation and Holocaust Memorial Center.
Among the topics to be discussed are relations between Ukraine, Israel and the global Jewish community, rising antisemitism and the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.
Last year, 83,000 people participated in the online Forum, including 500 leaders from Ukraine, Israel, the United States and Europe.
“Jews and Ukrainians are united by more than a thousand-year history, and this history has a lot to teach us about the challenges we face today,” said Boris Lozhkin, president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine.
“The increasing cooperation and ties between the Ukraine and Israel are to be celebrated, and together with our partners from around the world, we will discuss how to further increase collaboration and discuss solutions to antisemitism and the Jewish community living under COVID-19,” he said.
Robert Singer, chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact, said: “As a Ukrainian-born Jew, whose family was among the first families that immigrated from Ukraine to Israel in the 1970s, I am honored to co-organize the Kyiv Jewish Forum together with the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and the Combat Antisemitism Movement, marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine.
“I had the pleasure of being among the organizers of the 75th-anniversary ceremony of the Babyn Yar Massacre. This tragic history is a reminder of how far we have come in all aspects, and I’m sure that our countries will continue to enhance these important relations in the upcoming years.”