Union of the Ukrainian Jewish Students

Jewish Ukrainian: The community

Ukraine is known to accommodate several Jewish communities in its territory, as early as the era of Kievan Rus, whereas many of the diverse Jewish cultural and theological traditions existing in modern day were developed during this age. Though there were instances when the community flourished, the majority encountered times of anti-Semitic discrimination and persecution. Earlier than the beginning of WW 2 (World War II), nearly one-third of the Ukrainian residents were Jews.


The Ukrainian Jewish natives occupy the third leading Jewish community of the European region and the world’s fifth largest. In particular, Jews are chiefly concentrated in Odessa (45, 000), Kyiv (110, 000), Kharkov (45, 000) and Dnepropetrovsk (60, 000). Jews also reside in a number of small Ukrainian towns. However, Western Ukraine is known to accommodate a minor trace of traditional Jewish natives, including Lviv and Chernovtsy being residence to approximately 6, 000 Jews each.


Today’s Ukrainian Jews of the larger proportion are particularly speakers of either the Ukrainian or Russian language, while a good number of elderly nationals articulate Yiddish, which is the original Jewish mother-tongue. The history of the Yiddish language can be traced back as far as 1926, where approximately 76.1% considered the language the mother tongue; this encompassed those of 45 years on average.


The concept involving a well-defined Ukrainian Jewry erstwhile revived. Formerly, Jews residing in regions of today’s diverse Ukrainian territory often identify themselves as Polish, Bessarabian, Russian, Austrian, Hungarian, Galician and Soviet Jews in particular. The disintegration of Communism, along with the reformation of a self-governing Ukraine regulates the stance for the Jewish life revitalization. The government by ordinance of Ukraine has expressed high levels of sensitivity to the correlating demands about Ukrainian Jewry. In spite of everything, the unstable economic state of affairs erstwhile an influential aspect in the intelligence of Ukrainian Jews.


In further consideration of the Jewish community, the leading umbrella institutes such as the JCU (Jewish Council of Ukraine) and the VAAD (the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine). The community host different Jewish cultural and religious groups, as well as a number of Zionist organizations.


The Jewish populace is declining, principally because of the prolonged aging process and emigration. The community, in cooperation with international welfare groups of Jewish origins, is currently striving to reduce poverty in Ukrainian Jewish communities, the larger percentage being elderly natives. In the midst of the community’s main concern is to secure the revival of Jewish native property.