«Jewish Observer»
March 2002
5762 Nisan

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When Argentina suffered default and economical breakdown the country's Jewish community found itself in a very difficult situation. It is not surprising. Most Jews of the country belong to the middle class, which endured the hardest blow. The aliyah to Israel increased 20 (!) times over a few weeks. Anti-Semite actions have become more frequent, but some high officials still shut their eyes to that. The community had announced the state of emergency and asked the Jews of the world for support. Despite everything it goes on living. The World Jewish Congress is now coordinating help to the Argentine Jews. The Ukrainian community is its active member. And now the news begins. The WJC and the European Jewish Congress asked the Ukrainian Jewish Confederation to help the Argentine community ... to hold Pesah. To be exact, to supply the product which is particularly essential for the holiday - the matzoth. Pesah is not far off in South America, neither is it in this country. So for a few days the Kiev's matzoth bakery which is attached to the Podol synagogue worked at a full capacity almost round-the-clock and produced 10 tons of "bread of our poverty" especially for Argentine. An inscription on each box is evidence of that. The bread was sent from the synagogue at Shchekavitskaya, 29, on March, 13th to the distant country's community that lives in poverty now.

The Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich met with the Ambassador of Argentina and was assured that the precious goods would be delivered in time. As they say, everything is good in its season. So is matzoth. When one gives the story a second thought, one understands that the trite motto "All Jews are responsible for each other" is not just an empty phrase. Our community is far from being rich. Still it can make its contribution to an honorable mission of helping fellow-tribesmen. We'll have yet time to lament over our own problems.


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© 2002 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org