Jewish Community Shows Support at Ukraine Rally

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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News

Lee C. Shapiro, right side of door, director of the American Jewish Committee, holds an AJC stands with Ukraine sign. CJN Photo / Courtney Byrnes

A prayer service and rally in support of Ukraine was held at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Feb. 27 in Parma.

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s community relations committee and the American Jewish Committee encouraged many in the Jewish community to come in support.

Gregg Levine, chair of the community relations committee, said the committee sent a notice to synagogues and the community inviting people to come.

Gregg Levine, chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland's community relations committee, shows his support for Ukraine. CJN Photo / Courtney Byrnes

“We’re seeing a lot of Jewish people who are here to support the Ukrainian community,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to pray with the community, to stand with the community, and show our solidarity with the Ukrainian community.”

The rally began with a prayer service inside St. Vladimir followed by speeches given by notable members of the community. Marta Kelleher, president of the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio which sponsored the rally, introduced each of the speakers.

The crowd packs into St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Feb. 27 in Parma. CJN Photo / Courtney Byrnes

Among those who spoke at the rally were Lee C. Shapiro, director of AJC; Ingrida Bublys, honorary consul general of Lithuania; Mayor Tim Degeeter of Parma; U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur; and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.

Parma is home to the largest Ukrainian community in Ohio with more than 4,000 Ukrainians, many living in an area known as Ukrainian Village. More than one-third of the 43,000 Ukrainians that live in Ohio call Northeast Ohio home, according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland is helping to support the more than 200,000 Ukrainian Jews in need of temporary housing, food and communication needs, Levine said.

“The Jewish Community Federation has set up a fund where people in the Jewish community can donate to the Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund to ensure that Jewish people in Ukraine can get as much care and support as they possibly can need,” he said.

To donate, visit jewishcleveland.org.

From left, Marta Kelleher, president of the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio, Rabbi Stephen Weiss of B'nai Jeshurun, and Dr. George Jaskiw, vice president of the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio. CJN Photo / Courtney Byrnes

Publisher's note: Gregg Levine is a member of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company Board of Directors.

This is a developing story.

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