Passover in Ukraine

In the beleaguered Ukrainian city of Odessa, Rabbi Avraham Wolff runs a Chabad synagogue where hundreds of community members have been lining up to receive a kilogram of matzah each for their Passover dinner tables. As Deepa Bharath reports, unleavened bread is hard to find in war-torn Ukraine. Wolff’s wife and children recently fled the Black Sea port city for Berlin; like many other Chabad rabbis in Ukraine, he will be staying to host large public seders. Despite the war, the food shortage, and missing his family, Woolf is determined to maintain good cheer: “I need to smile for my community,” he said. “We need humor. We need hope.”

Chabad, which has deep roots and a wide network in Ukraine, and other groups such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Federations of North America, have mobilized to help Ukrainian Jews celebrate Passover wherever they have sought refuge. In Ukraine, Chabad plans 52 public seders welcoming about 9,000 people.

In Odessa, Wolff . . . has been waving in trucks loaded with Passover supplies—matzah from Israel, milk from France, meat from Britain. “We may not all be together, but it’s going to be an unforgettable Passover,” he said. “This year, we celebrate as one big Jewish family around the world.”

The JDC, which has evacuated more than 11,600 Jews from Ukraine, has shipped more than two tons of matzah, over 400 bottles of grape juice, and over 700 pounds of kosher Passover food for refugees in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, and Romania, said Chen Tzuk, the organization’s director of operations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In Ukraine, their social-service centers and corps of volunteers are distributing nearly sixteen tons of matzah to elderly Jews and families in need, she said.

Read more at Associated Press

More about: Passover, Ukrainian Jews, War in Ukraine


Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus