The Kyiv Jewish Forum is an event bringing together prominent leaders from all over the world to discuss and debate complex global and regional challenges facing the Jewish Community.
Our goal is to inspire thought-provoking conversations that matter.
This year's first online edition of the Kyiv Jewish Forum, organized by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine in partnership with the Jerusalem Post, will be broadcast online on 8-9 September .
The Forum's guests will include the President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder, the US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism Elan Carr, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee David Harris, the President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council Lord Mendelsohn, the renowned Israeli human right activist Natan Sharansky and many Ministers, members of Parliament and business leaders from around the world.
The inaugural Kyiv Jewish Forum was held in 2019 and brought together over 500 leaders from Israel, the United States, Europe and Ukraine to debate and discuss the most pressing issues for the Ukrainian and global Jewry.
We are witnessing a true renaissance of Jewish life in Ukraine, and the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine is committed to contributing to the development of the global Jewish community. This is the reason why we are organizing the Kyiv Jewish Forum – a global platform for discussing and debating the challenges and opportunities which the world Jewry is facing, and exploring viable solutions.
As president of the World Jewish Congress since 2007, Ronald S. Lauder advocates on behalf of more than 100 Jewish communities across the globe before governments, the United Nations, and other international bodies. He has served as United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs, and as U.S. Ambassador to Austria. In 1987, in order to revitalize Jewish life across central and eastern Europe, he established The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Today, the foundation supports Jewish schools, camps and community centers in Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. He is chairman of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and former president and board chairman of the Jewish National Fund.
Benjamin Gantz is an Israeli soldier and politician serving as Alternate Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Defense since 2020. He served as the 20th Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2011 to 2015 and the 17th Speaker of the Knesset from 26 March 2020 to 17 May 2020.
During his 38 years of IDF service, Gantz served as commander of the Shaldag Unit, commander of the Paratroopers Brigade, commander of the Lebanon Liaison Unit, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, GOC Northern Command, commander of the Ground Forces, military attach to the United States, and Deputy Chief of Staff.
In December 2018 Gantz founded the Israel Resilience Party (Hosen L'Yisrael), which later joined forces with additional parties to form the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) parliamentary group.
Blue and White under Gantz's leadership ran in the three consecutive elections for the Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and Twenty-third Knessets. In April 2020, the parliamentary group split, and Gantz's party—called Blue and White—established a national unity and emergency Government together with the Likud Party, after eighteen months of political paralysis that was unprecedented in Israeli history.
Moshe Kantor is a prominent Jewish leader and philanthropist. He has served as President of the European Jewish Congress since 2007.
Moshe Kantor is known worldwide for his fight against antisemitism, racism, and extremism. He has greatly contributed to preserving the memory of the Shoah and revitalizing Jewish life in Europe.
Dr Kantor is also Chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress, President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, Chancellor of the Yad Vashem Council, President of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation and President of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.
The European Jewish Congress is the representative umbrella organisation of more than 40 national Jewish community organisations.
At the age of 39, Dmytro Kuleba is Ukraine's youngest Minister of Foreign Affairs. Before taking the seat in Denys Shmygal's government on 4th March, he had served as the Deputy Prime Minister on European and Euro Atlantic Integration of Ukraine in Oleksiy Honcharuk's government. An experienced career diplomat, Dmytro Kuleba first joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs back in 2003 at the age of 21. In 2013 he left the civil service to head the UART Foundation for Cultural Diplomacy and expected there would be no turning back. However, next year brought a new chapter to Ukraine's history. In summer 2014, when Russia had just launched its aggression against Ukraine, Kuleba decided to return to Ukraine's MFA. After a few years of service at the ministry he served as Ukraine's ambassador to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 2016-2019. In December 2017 Dmytro Kuleba was named Ukraine's Best Ambassador of the Year 2017 by the Institute of World Policy. In 2019 he wrote a bestseller book called "The War for Reality: How to Survive in the World of Fakes, Truths and Communities".
President Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of the Republic of Poland in years 1995 – 2005. Born on November 15th 1954 in Bialogard, Poland.
Active participant in the negotiations of the famous "Round Table" in Poland which led to the peaceful transformation from communism to democracy.
Co- founder of the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland. Co-author of the Polish Constitution, which he signed as a President on June 16th 1997.
Under his rule, Poland joined NATO in 1999 and become a member of the European Union on May 1st 2004.
Founder of the Foundation Amicus Europae, Chairman of the Board of Yalta European Strategy, honorary professor at Georgetown University, member of multiple International Advisory Boards such as Atlantic Council of the United States, member of the Club de Madrid.
Congressman Ted Deutch represents Florida's 22nd District in the House of Representatives, which includes communities in Palm Beach County and Broward County. Ted has long championed the priorities of the Jewish community, from his days in Zionist summer camp to his pro-Israel activism in college to his leadership roles in local and national Jewish organizations.
Ted is the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's influential Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism. He serves as the Chairman of the House Ethics Committee and is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. He is also a founding Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism.
Elan S. Carr
Elan S. Carr serves as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. As Special Envoy, he advises the Secretary of State and is responsible for directing U.S. policies and projects aimed at countering anti-Semitism throughout the world.
Prior to his appointment, Special Envoy Carr served as a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, where he prosecuted violent crimes for more than a decade, including murders, rapes, hate crimes, and crimes involving some of the most notorious criminal street gangs in Southern California.
Special Envoy Carr is an officer in the United States Army Reserve, and he has received multiple awards and commendations for his nearly two decades of military service. In 2003-04, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he led an anti-terrorism team in life-saving
missions throughout the country and prosecuted terrorists who attacked U.S. troops. He also assisted efforts to establish an independent Iraqi judiciary and trained Iraqi judges and lawyers on constitutional law and criminal defense.
As the son of Iraqi Jewish refugees who fled persecution in Iraq, Special Envoy Carr speaks Hebrew and the Iraqi dialect of Arabic. While in Iraq, he met with remnants of the Jewish community there and led Jewish services in the former presidential palace of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.
Special Envoy Carr was the international president of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, he served on the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he was a voting member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and he was a board member of Operation Gratitude. In the course of his work in the Jewish community, he has been a recognized leader in the fight against anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses and around the world.
Katharina von Schnurbein
Katharina von Schnurbein was appointed the first European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in December 2015. Her mandate includes liaising closely with the Jewish community on behalf of the European Commission, proposing and implementing EC policy to prevent and fight antisemitism.
Prior, she worked for five years as advisor to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on the dialogue with churches, religions and non-confessional organisations. Katharina started working for the Commission in 2002, serving as press officer for the EU Delegation in Prague. With enlargement in 2004, she moved to Brussels as spokesperson on employment, social affairs and equal opportunities for the Czech EU Commissioner Vladimir S pidla.
Prior to the Commission, Katharina worked for the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee at the German Bundestag in Berlin (2000-2002) as well as for an international crisis management consultancy.
Her educational background includes undergraduate studies of Political Science and Slavonic Studies at Charles University in Prague and the University of Bonn, a Master of Slavonic Studies from Oxford University (1997) and a Master of European Studies from the Center for European Integration Studies in Bonn (1999).
She spent the academic year 2017/18 as EU Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence researching measures to combat antisemitism across Europe.
Katharina received the B'nai B'rith Europe's Human Rights Prize in April 2018.
Katharina is married and has four children. She speaks German, English, French, Dutch, and Czech.
Natan Sharansky was born in Donetsk, Ukraine. He was a spokesman for the human rights movement, a Prisoner of Zion and leader in the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. Subsequent to his request to make aliya, Mr. Sharansky was arrested on trumped up charges of treason and espionage. He was convicted in a Soviet court and served nine years in the Gulag with many stretches in a punishing cell. Following massive public campaigns by the State of Israel, World Jewry and leaders of the free world, Mr. Sharansky was released in 1986, making aliya on the very day of his release. In his first few years in Israel, Mr. Sharansky established the Zionist Forum to assist Soviet olim in their absorption in Israel. In the 1990's, he established the Yisrael B'Aliyah party in order to accelerate the integration of Russian Jews. He served in four successive Israeli governments, as Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. In 2018 he received the highest Israeli award - the Israel Prize for promoting Aliyah and the ingathering of the exiles. Mr. Sharansky is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He is the only living non-American citizen who is the recipient of these two highest American awards. 2009-2018 Natan Sharansky served as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. After retirement from the Jewish Agency, he continues to serve as Chairman of the Shlihut Institute, which he founded. In July 2019 Mr. Natan Sharansky became Chair of ISGAP (The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy). Mr. Sharansky is also the author of four books:
Fear No Evil
The Case for Democracy
Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People.
Boris Fuchsman is a German media mogul of Ukrainian-Jewish origin, investor and film producer. He is an active member of many Jewish communities around the world, including the honorary president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine. Together with Alexander Rodnyansky, he is a co-founder and co-owner of the cinema network called "Cinema City" and the Hilton Hotel in Kyiv. Also he was a co-founder and former owner of the 1+1 TV channel. Co-founder and co-owner of the production studio "Ukrainian Media Group".
Vitalii Klitschko is a Ukrainian politician and former professional boxer. Six-time world champion in kickboxing, 3-time boxing champion of Ukraine. Won the super heavyweight championship at the first World Military Games.WBO and WBA Intercontinental champion, 2-time European champion, WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine Heavyweight world champion.WBC Eternal World Heavyweight Champion.
Outside the ring, Vitaly played a significant role in Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution. Klitschko unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Kiev twice, and in 2010 he became the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform UDAR political party.
He currently serves as Mayor of Kiev and head of the Kiev City State Administration, having held both offices since June 2014. He became actively involved in Ukrainian politics in 2005 and combined this with his professional boxing career until his retirement from the sport in 2013.
Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn
Lord Mendelsohn is President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council. He is a member of the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee in the UK Parliament.
He was Shadow Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Shadow Minister for International Trade, having previously been Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills.
He formerly served as a Policy and Communications Adviser to the Rt. Hon Tony Blair MP and was appointed by the Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP as Assistant Treasurer of the Labour Party.
Jon is currently a Partner at Oakvale Capital LLP, Chairman of The Redbus Group and Senior Adviser to Value Retail Plc.
David Harris has led AJC since 1990. Described by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres as the "foreign minister of the Jewish people," he has been invited to speak at some of the world's most prestigious forums. He has been honored a total of 17 times by the governments of Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Spain, and Ukraine for his international efforts in defense of human rights, advancement of the transatlantic partnership, and dedication to the Jewish people.
Liz Schrayer, a respected political strategist, founded Schrayer & Associates, Inc. over twenty years ago with an eye toward enhancing the political effectiveness of non-profits and businesses to impact policy in our nation's capital and around the country. Through hands-on strategic planning, crafting of advocacy campaigns and meeting facilitation, she has helped educate, engage and mobilize tens of thousands of citizen advocates to add their voice to a range of domestic and international public policy issues. In addition to running her own political consulting practice, Liz serves as the President & CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a broad based coalition of over 500 businesses and NGOs that advocates for strong U.S. global leadership through development and diplomacy which boasts a bipartisan Advisory Council that includes every living former Secretary of State.
Prior to starting her own firm, Liz served for over a decade as the national Political Director of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and worked in state government and on Capitol Hill where she founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She currently serves on the Secretary of State's Committee on Public-Private Partnerships, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation's Development Advisory Council, USAID's Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACFVA) and several advisory boards for the University of Michigan, including the Ford School of Public Policy. Liz is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Liz has been published in TIME, Newsweek, USA Today, and The Hill, among other outlets. She has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and resides in Maryland with her husband Jeff Schwaber, an attorney who helped launch the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a professor at Georgetown University. Ross served as the U.S. point man on the Middle East peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ross is the author or co-author of five books, most recently Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel's Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny.
Major General (ret.) Amos Yadlin
Amos Yadlin has been the Director of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) since November 2011.
General Yadlin served for over 40 years in the Israel Defense Forces,9 of which as a member of the IDF General Staff. Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yadlin served as the Israel chief of Defense Intelligence, IDF attaché to the United States and commander of the IDF Military Colleges and the National Defense College.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yadlin, a former deputy commander of the Israel Air Force, has commanded two fighter squadrons and two airbases. He accumulated about 5,000 flight hours and flew more than 250 combat missions behind enemy lines. He participated in the Yom Kippur War (1973), Operation Peace for Galilee (1982) and Operation Tamuz – the destruction of the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq (1981).
Yadlin holds a B.A. in economics and business administration from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (1985) and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University (1994).
MK Yuli Yoel Edelstein
Yuli Yoel Edelstein was born in Czernowitz (former Soviet Union). He was active in Zionist circles in Moscow where he fought for the human rights of Jews to leave the Soviet Union and for their right to practice their religion as they saw fit. As a result of these efforts, he was arrested by the KGB on trumped-up charges in 1984 and sentenced to 3 years in a labor camp. Following his release in 1987, he immigrated to Israel with his family.
After his immigration, Edelstein completed his education through the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows program and worked in a number of educational institutions.
Since he was first elected to the Knesset in 1996, Edelstein has served at various times as Minister and Deputy Minister of Immigration and Absorption, and Minister of Public Diplomacy, and Diaspora Affairs. In addition, he also served as a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset in the 15th, 16th, and 17th Knessets.
In March 2013, Edelstein was elected unanimously to serve as Speaker of the 19th Knesset, a position he held through the 22nd Knesset. Minister Edelstein Currently serves as the Minister of Health charged with management of the ministry during the difficult COVID-19 crisis.
During his terms as Speaker of the Knesset, Edelstein has taken many steps to make the Knesset a leader in important fields such as sustainability, parliamentary transparency, and accessibility. Edelstein has also placed an important emphasis on expanding the international relations of the Knesset, hosting a record number of foreign dignitaries. He has also traveled to address a number of parliaments. During his tenure, the Knesset has expanded its cooperation with legislatures around the world.
During the COVID-19 crisis Minister Edelstein has steered Israel on a course, maintaining the proper function of the health system and a manageable infection rate, while also maintaining the daily fabric of society with an open economy and school system. Together with The Prime Minister, Minister Edelstein appointed a director for the fight against COVID-19. Minister Edelstein has made great strides in strengthening the public health system including adding thousands of new positions as well as greatly enlarging the number of daily COVID-19 tests making Israel the global leader in testing. The emphasis on international cooperation has also served the fight against COVID-19 bringing together the common efforts of our friends and allies.
Edelstein's personal history has continued to inform his work, and a deep commitment to human rights, strengthening democracy, and building bridges between peoples around the world have remained hallmarks of his efforts.
General Director of the Knesset since 2016. Albert Sakharovich repatriated from Ukraine in 1978 at the age of four. He holds a second degree in Human resource management and Organizational Consulting.
He also has extensive experience with the Knesset apparatus. Prior to his appointment to a high post, Sakharovich worked as chief of staff of the chairman of the Knesset.
Zeev Elkin was born in 1971 in Kharkov, Ukraine, and studied Mathematics at Kharkov University from 1987-1990. In 1989, he established the local Hebrew Teachers Organization, became the Deputy Head of the 100,000 member Jewish Community of Kharkov. Elkin immigrated to Israel in December of 1990.
Elkin has a BA in Mathematics from Hebrew University, a MA in the History of the Jewish People from the Hebrew University.
Elkin was first elected to the Knesset in 2006. In 2013, Elkin was appointed Deputy Minister, a position he filled until May 2014, when he assumed the position of Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
In the 20th Knesset, Elkin was appointed Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, and member of the Security Cabinet. Since 31 May 2016, Elkin has been serving as Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage and as a member of the Security Cabinet.
In August 2016 Minister Elkin was also appointed Minister of Environmental Protection. In May 2020, after new government was established, Minister Elkin was appointed Minister of Higher and Complementary Education and Minister of Water Recourses Elkin lives in Jerusalem. He is married and has five children.
Omer Yankelevich, Minister of Diaspora affairs, a lawyer and a social activist.
She holds a BA and MA in law; is a certified teacher and mediator, and as a young woman studied at Gateshead Seminary in England.
She has served in a verity of legal and administrative positions in the public service for over a decade.
In recent years, she founded a social voluntary organization, where she initiated groundbreaking social projects to promote equal opportunities for minority groups.
World Jewry is close to her heart. In her youth, she moved with her parents to the former Soviet Union where she taught Hebrew.
She has expressed, even before her appointment as Minister of Diaspora Affairs, her interest and profound commitment in the issues relating to world Jewry. She is married and has five children.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher, the author of more than thirty books, and a moral voice for our time. He is a frequent and respected contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world, and is active online (www.RabbiSacks.org) and on social media (@RabbiSacks). Admired by non-Jews as much as Jews, by secular as well as religious thinkers, and equally at home in the university and the yeshiva, Rabbi Sacks holds eighteen honorary degrees and has been awarded numerous prizes in recognition of his work including the 2016 Templeton Prize. He served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 until 2013
Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich
Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich was born in New York on October 19, 1964. He received a Jewish upbringing and education, studying in Yeshivas in Chicago, Cleveland, Israel and New York. Rabbi Bleich is married and has eight children.
In January 1990 after graduation of the Karlin Stolin Yeshiva Rabbi Bleich was sent to Ukraine by Rebbe Karlin Stolin at the request of the local Jewish Community to help restore Jewish religious life and education in Ukraine. He has made tremendous efforts to bring about a renaissance in Jewish education and welfare. Rabbi Bleich founded many Jewish educational institutions, including Kiev Jewish Gymnasium and Boarding school #299, the Orach Chaim Heder – Israeli Internatinal School, the Ronald S. Lauder Kiev Jewish Kindergarten, the Shuva camp, Orach Chaim Yeshiva, the Midrasha Tzionit Educational Centre for Adults, and the Orach Chaim International camp for American students. In 1997, the President of Israel honoured Rabbi Bleich with the International Award of Jerusalem for his contributions to the development of Jewish education in the Diaspora.
In 1992, Rabbi Bleich founded the Union of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine. He currently serves as the organisation's president. He was a co-founder of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine in 1999. Rabbi Bleich also was a founder of a unique project for seniors, the International Fellowship Kyiv Center for Jewish Elderly, which was opened in Kiev in 2005.
In 1999, Rabbi Bleich was awarded the Medal for Outstanding Service, 3rd degree, for his outstanding contribution to the development of Ukraine.
Rabbi Bleich has brought about significant advances in improving inter-religious and inter-ethnic relations in Ukraine and around the world. Since 1998, he is a member of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Ukraine.
Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich is a Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, the Treasurer of the European Jewish Congress and the Chairman of the Board of the Conference of European Rabbis.
Rabbi Arie Folger
Rabbi Arie Folger is a member of the Standing Committee of the Conference of European Rabbis, a member of the editorial team of the rabbinic journal Seridim and a founding member of the Rabbinical Court of Austria, where he is particularly but not exclusively involved in conversions. He was the chairman of the international rabbinic committee that produced and presented Between Jerusalem and Rome to the Vatican. He has held prestigious rabbinical positions in the German speaking world and is an internationally recognized kashrut professional.
Dr. Michael Mirilashvili
Dr. Michael Mirilashvili was born in 1960 in Kulashi, Georgia. He acquired his medical education at St-Petersburg Medical School, Russia, and graduated in 1983 as a qualified pediatrician. Already as a young doctor Mirilashvili entered the business world and in the course of time his business activities became global.
Today, Dr. Mirilashvili's business group includes hi-tech companies, as well as companies of development, maintenance and management of commercial and office real estate.
Dr. Mirilashvili serves as President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), and has been the President of Maccabi-Russia for 25 years, the Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress, the Vice-President of the Russian Jewish Congress, the President of the Jewish Congress of St-Petersburg and much more.
Alexander Rodnyansky is a Ukrainian and Russian film director, film producer, television executive and businessman. Member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rodnyansky was born in Kiev to Jewish parents, both of whom worked at the Ukrainian film studio Kontakt. During his career, Rodnyansky produced over 30 films and more than 20 television series including Stalingrad (2013) - the highest grossing Russian film ever ($67 million).
In 2008 Alexander Rodnyansky was invited to be in the jury of Berlin's Film Festival. Two of the movies produced by Rodnyansky - East-West and Les Mille et une Regettes du Cuisinier Amoreux have been nominated for Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.
Alexander Rodnyansky is the member of European Film Academy and an associate member of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in New York. He is also a member of Russian National Film Arts and Sciences Academy "Golden Eagle". Russian Film Academy "Nika", member of the board of Russian Television Academy.
Oleg Vyshniakov - Honorary Consul of the State of Israel in the Western region of Ukraine since November 2014, public figure, philanthropist. The Honorary Consul takes an active part in the work of the Ukraine-Israel Interparliamentary Friendship Group, consisting of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Knesset of Israel. He also organizes visits of delegations to Israel, meetings with influential Israeli politicians and businesspersons so that Ukrainians can borrow the experience of Israel in various fields. Actively participates in activities to promote Jewish culture in Ukraine.Comprehensively supports the Jewish community of Ukraine.
Since August 2018 Joël Lion is the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Ukraine. Ambassador Joel Lion was born in 1964 in France, raised in Luxembourg, he immigrated to Israel in 1982. Joël Lion joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993. Between May 2017 and August 2018, Ambassador Lion was the Chief of Diplomatic Staff of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. From Aug. 2016 to Sept. 2017 Ambassador Lion held, the post of Special Envoy for the Return of Holocaust Era Assets at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before this, between 2014 and 2016, Lion was the Director of the Public Affairs and Branding Department of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. From 2011 to 2014, Lion served as Consul-General of the State of Israel for Eastern Canada in Montreal and as Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to ICAO. Prior to his position in Montreal he served as the Spokesperson and Consul for Media Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York. He assumed this post in August 2009. Previously, he was Counselor, Head of the Public Affairs Department at Israel's Embassy in Berlin. He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania at the Israeli Embassy in Riga and was Chargé D'Affaires for Slovakia at the Israeli Embassy in Vienna. Among other appointments, he served at the MFA in Jerusalem as Deputy-Director of the Western European Department, in charge of political relations with Germany and as desk officer for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia at the Euro-Asia Dept. In 1999, Amb. Lion became the first Israeli official to partake in the mission of election monitoring with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. At the start of the second Intifada in 2001 Lion operated as Spokesman with the MFA special team in Bethlehem. In 2009 he was in charge of the MFA Press Center in Sderot during operation "Cast Lead". Before joining the Ministry, he held a number of positions at JNF-KKL in Jerusalem, as well as at the Ministry of Religious Affairs dealing with soviet Jewry. Lion earned his B.A. in Political Sciences from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 1988, and received his M.A. in History from the University of Latvia in 1998 and is currently a PhD. Candidate at Bar Ilan University. He is also an Orthodox Rabbi (Ordinated by Rabbi Dan Channen from Yeshivat Pirchei Shoshanim of Lakewood N.J. and by the Chief Rabbi of the city of Holon, Rabbi Eliyahu Yohanan Gur-Arieh.) He is fluent in Hebrew, English, French, German, Luxemburgish and Yiddish as well as medium Russian. He is married to Rivka, and is the father of eight children.
MK Elazar Stern, representing the Yesh Atid- Telem Party, focuses his parliamentary activity on religion and state, and the Jewish-Democratic discourse in the Israeli Knesset. He passed the Bill to withhold Palestinian money meant to reward terrorists and fought to increase resources provided to Holocaust survivors in Israel.
As the Head of the Human Resources Directorate, he initiated the Nativ conversion program, initiated and executed the Edim Be Madim (Witnesses in Uniform) project, taking soldiers in uniform to see the concentration camps first hand and headed a special committee that reformulated the values of the IDF spirit (Ruach Tzahal). He lives and one of the founders of Mitzpe Hoshaya, a village he founded 40 years ago with his wife, Dorit. They have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.
Hennadii Nadolenko joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in 1994 and served in different diplomatic positions in the Ministry.
In 1998 he was posted as second secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine to the USA.
After returning from the USA Mr.Nadolenko worked in different senior positions in the MFA of Ukraine and in the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine.
In 2007, Mr. Nadolenko was posted Head of trade and economic mission in the Embassy of Ukraine to the USA.
In June 29, 2010, Mr. Nadolenko was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the State of Israel.
Ambassador Nadolenko is a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and of National agrarian university.
Mr. Nadolenko is married. He has a son and a daughter.
Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A leading authority on Eastern Europe and Russia, he has published extensively on the international history of Cold War. His books won numerous awards, including the Lionel Gelber Prize (Canada) for the best English-language book on the international relations, (The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union, 2014), Taras Shevchenko National Prize (Ukraine) for Non-Fiction (The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, 2015), and Ballie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, and Pushkin House Book Prize, UK (Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy, 2018).
Mark B. Levin is Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (formerly NCSJ,) organized American Jewry's premier advocacy group for Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He is a leading expert on national and international political and legislative issues, and travels extensively throughout the region.
In 2008, Mr. Levin received the Soviet Jewry Freedom Award from the Russian Jewish Community Foundation, and the Order of Merit medal from President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko. Mr. Levin has served three times as a Public Member of the U.S. Delegation to meetings of the Organization on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and served as a Public Advisor for the U.S. Delegation to the 2004 Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism.
Mr. Levin is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Jewish Restitution Organization. Mr. Levin is also a member of the Goodwill Foundation that oversees the distribution of restitution funds from the Lithuanian Government to the Lithuanian Jewish community.
Rabbi Andrew Baker is AJC Director of International Jewish Affairs. In 2009, he was appointed Personal Representative on Combating Anti-Semitism of the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and continues to serve in this position. He is an officer of the Jewish Claims Conference and has served on restitution and historical commissions in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. In recognition of his work in Europe he was decorated by the Presidents of Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. He is a past President of the Interfaith Conference of Washington, a former Commissioner of the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission, a past President of the Washington Board of Rabbis and a former chaplain at San Quentin Prison.
Haim Ben Yakov
Dr. Haim Ben Yakov is a CEO of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. Served as Head of the Jewish Agency for Israel in Moscow and in the Baltic States, as Educational Consultant of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Founded and managed an Institute for Jewish Studies and Training Community Leaders in Moscow (Russia).
Dr. Ben Yakov's research interests - traditional rituals of Judaism from different historical periods, principles of formation of national state and national cultural identity, interaction of universal and particular cultural values, the structure of the Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora, the history of Zionism.
As Vice President of the Center for Technology and Society (CTS), Dave Sifry leads a team of innovative technologists, researchers, and policy experts developing proactive solutions and producing cutting-edge research to protect vulnerable populations. In its efforts to advocate change at all levels of society, CTS serves as a vital resource to legislators, journalists, universities, community organizations, tech platforms and anyone who has been a target of online hate and harassment.
Dave joined ADL in 2019 after a storied career as a technology entrepreneur and executive. He founded six companies including Linuxcare and Technorati, and served in executive roles at companies including Lyft and Reddit. In addition to his entrepreneurial work, Dave was selected as a Technology Pioneer at The World Economic Forum, and is an advisor and mentor for a select group of companies and startup founders. As the son of a hidden child of the Holocaust, the core values and mission exemplified by ADL were instilled in him at an early age.
He earned a BS in Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University.
Former Director General at Israel Ministry of Justice (2014–2019). Previously, Ms. Palmor served as the Director of the Department of Pardons in the Ministry of Justice. In that role, she was responsible for preparing the Minister of Justice's recommendations for the president of Israel, regarding pardon requests, including relief from prison sentences, fines, disqualification penalties & removal of a criminal record.
In addition, Ms. Palmor was a Member of the Negotiation Team for the Release of POW Gilad Shalit, and has been appointed to coordinate and carry out political gestures for prisoner release to the Palestinian Authority. In the past, Ms. Palmor served as a prosecutor in the criminal section of the Office of the State Attorney. In that position, she appeared before the Supreme Court regarding various criminal proceedings.
Avner Shalev has been Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate since 1993. Upon becoming Chairman, Shalev initiated a multi-year development plan aimed at equipping Yad Vashem with the necessary tools to address the challenges of Holocaust remembrance in the 21st century.
Born in 1939 in Jerusalem, Shalev served in the Israel Defense Forces between 1956 and 1980, reaching the rank of brigadier general. After retiring from military service, Shalev served as director general of the Culture Authority in the Ministry of Education and Culture, and chairman of the National Culture and Art Council. He was also a member of the directorate of various national museums and cultural institutions in Israel. In these positions he was responsible for formulating and directing national culture policy, and encouraging, supporting and overseeing the funding of all types of cultural and artistic activity in Israel. Shalev also introduced policies to raise the standards of Israel's leading cultural institutions, and advanced and promoted new cultural programs-such as art and culture festivals throughout the country-in order to increase national cultural awareness and involvement.
Another achievement in this period was to transform the Antiquities Division of the Ministry of Education into a national authority. Shalev was also instrumental in enhancing educational opportunities in regional areas by promoting the accreditation of local educational institutions and enabling their students to obtain recognized degrees.
Prof. Simha Goldin is Director of the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center at Tel Aviv University and a senior professor in the Jewish History Department. He is a social historian whose research focuses on the Jewish community in medieval Ashkenaz, particularly examining societal constructs like community, neighborhood, conversion, and the status of women, and drawing on a broad range of methodologies and sources to provide greater understanding of the daily lives of medieval Jews and their relationships with the Christian societies among which they dwelt. He is also involved in a research project on Jewish soldiers in World War II and the reconstruction of Hannah Senesh's final journey.
Prof. Vladimir (Ze'ev) Khanin, IEAJS Academic Chairman, is a leading Israeli expert on Russian Jewish community in Israel and the Diaspora. He got his Ph.D. in Political Science from Moscow Institute for African studies, the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1989, and in 1991 completed post-Doctoral studies in the Institute for Russian and Soviet Studies at the University of Oxford, U.K. He currently serves as Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry for Aliya and Integration and lectures Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University, and Jewish sociology and history at the Ariel University, Israel. His was also a political commentator at the Israeli Channel Nine TV, The Voice of Israel Radio, Radio Liberty and the BBC Russian Service. His publications include 11 authored books, 7 edited collections and numerous articles on Israeli, East European, Jewish and African politics and society
Since 2013, MP Meyer Habib is a key political figure in France-Israel friendship and Middle East Affairs,strongly involved in the fight against Anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli hate, militant Islam and Islamo-leftism.
Active in security issues, he has assumed over past years responsibility as Vice-President of several parliamentary commissions over jihadi terror.
Meyer Habib also serves as VP of the task force against Anti-Semitism.
Born in Paris in 1961, Meyer Habib is a Technion alumnus and former VP of the Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF). Married and a father of four children, he holds French and Israeli citizenships. He is a personal friend of Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Aaron G. Frenkel is an international philanthropist, visionary entrepreneur with a passionate commitment to Israel and the Jewish people, and Chairman of the EuroAsian Jewish Congress.
Since the 1980's, he has established and owned the Loyd's group of Companies, which has been involved in investments In real estate, civil aviation and aerospace, energy and high tech. The Loyd's Group was formed as part of the project on the development of the economies of Central & Eastern Europe and The F.S.U countries. Aaron G. Frenkel , through his Loyd's Group, has carried out and continues to implement a huge number of joint projects for the delivery and modernization of advanced equipment and technologies for civil aviation in these countries.
The leading role he has assumed in the aviation industry is inextricably linked to his efforts on behalf of the Jewish people. In the 1980's just prior to fall of the Iron Curtain and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Jewish Agency sought Frenkel's assistance in helping airlift Jews out of country. The effort prompted his involvement in the founding of Russian Airlines, which got its start flying Soviet immigrants to Israel. Today Frenkel is considered one of the most influential and successful entrepreneurs in the region that used to be the Soviet Union," The Jerusalem Post noted".
Marina Yudborovsky serves as Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG). Prior to becoming CEO, Marina was a longtime executive at GPG, including roles as Director of Strategy and Operations, as well as Regional Director for North American grants. Born in Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union, Marina immigrated to the United States in 1989. After graduating summa cum laude from New York University, she spent a decade in the technology sector, before joining GPG in 2009. Marina is driven by the opportunity to help the next generation of Jewish young adults engage with their heritage, while finding community and connection.
Robert Singer (born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine) is a Jewish organizational leader and former Israeli government official, serving over the past decades at the highest levels of positions in the Jewish world, including as CEO of the World Jewish Congress, CEO of World ORT and in the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel. During this time, he traveled extensively throughout the world visiting Jewish communities in over 60 countries, as well as conducting meetings with country leaders, Presidents and senior officials.
Yuri Kanner was born in 1955 in Jewish settlement (shtetl) in Zhitomir Region (Ukraine).
In 1976 Graduated from Saratov Institute of Economy. Has a PhD degree in economy.
From 1979 to 1993 worked in Tumen Region (Siberia) in several capacities including as a deputy head of one of the biggest collective farms (Kolkhoz) in the Region. Since 1993 lives in Moscow.
Since 2005 is involved in Jewish communal activities as a founder and the first chairman of the Board of the Moscow Jewish Religious Community.
Since 2009 - President of the Russian Jewish Congress (three times re-elected to this post), the largest non-religious Jewish organization in Russia (independent, non-governmental, and non-profit).
Since 2013 - Vice President and member of the Steering Committee of the World Jewish Congress.
In 2013, was included in the J100, the list of "top 100 people who have had the greatest positive impact on Jewish life" according to the weekly media publication, The Algemeiner (USA).
Dr Alon Liel is the former director general of the Foreign Ministry of Israel and was also Israel's ambassador to South Africa. He is one of the instigators of an Israeli campaign to advance recognition of a Palestinian state by European parliaments and governments
Opening speech by Boris Lozhkin, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine
Address speech by Volodymyr Zelensky, President, Ukraine
Address by Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
Address by Benjamin Gantz, Alternate Prime Minister of Israel
In Conversation with Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress
In Conversation with Elan Carr, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
The far right or the far left: who is the greater threat to Jews?
US & Israel Alliance: Is there a future for bipartisan support?
Conversion to Judaism: Are we a people or a religion?
How anti-Semitic is Ukraine today?
Babyn Yar: Exploring the past for the better future
75 years after WW2: untold stories of Jewish heroes
Opening speech by Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine
Address by Omer Yankelevich, Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Israel
Address by David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee
Address by Yuri Kanner, President of the Russian Jewish Congress
Address by Emmanuil Grinshpun, First Vice President of Eurasian Jewish Congress, President of Moldovan Jewish Congress
In Conversation with Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Minister of Health, Israel
In Conversation with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
In Conversation with Aleksandr Rodnyansky, Film Director
The Iranian Threat - How much time is really left?
Fighting antisemtism: are we doing enough?
Jewish leadership in the fight against Covid-19
Changing Jewish identity in post-soviet countries
What can Ukraine learn from Israel?
Closing Speech by Boris Lozhkin, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine
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The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine is the umbrella organization uniting independent social, charitable and religious Jewish organizations in Ukraine. Its mission is to unite the Jews of Ukraine, preserve Jewish history and culture and support Israel and Jewish communities around the world and fight against anti-Semitism.
The Jerusalem Post is the leading news site in the Jewish world, uncovering stories that matter to Jewish communities and monitoring, educating and combating antisemitism through its journalism. With nearly one million hits a day through the Jerusalem Post's various media outlets it is highly influential and reaches 1.5 million people worldwide.