The Jewish community of Ukraine has become an important player on the world stage – Boris Lozhkin summed up the results of 2021
2021 has been an incredibly eventful year for the Jewish community of Ukraine. This year, Kyiv hosted commemorative events dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre, in which the President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog took part. The Ukrainian parliament passed a law incorporating the international definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). On May 14, Ukraine celebrated the Day of the Ukrainian Righteous Among the Nations for the first time. An agreement with Israel on a free trade zone has been acting since the beginning of the year.
These are only some of the events that made the expiring year truly fruitful in the thirty-year history of the revival of the Ukrainian Jewish community. All of them were reflected in one way or another during the recently ended third Kyiv Jewish Forum – a global international forum held annually since 2019 at the initiative of the President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress Boris Lozhkin. We spoke with Boris Lozhkin immediately after the end of KJF-2021.
- Are you satisfied with the third Kyiv Jewish Forum?
- I am. As well as with the first two. Every year I am even more convinced that the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine made the right decision in 2019. The idea of inviting world Jewish leaders to discuss the most pressing issues of the world Jewry has paid off. There was a lack of such a platform. This is not only my opinion; all KJF participants talk about it. The audience and geographical representation are growing every year. In the first year, when there was no pandemic, we brought together 500 participants from all over the world in Kyiv. In the previous forum, which was already online, the audience exceeded 83,000 people.
The coverage of KJF-2021 has already reached 320,000 people. That's just social networks and online broadcasts. I would like to thank our partners for organizing the forum – Combat Antisemitism Movement, Center for Jewish Impact and Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. With their help, we were able to make KJF even more global.
The growing reputation of our discussion platform is also evidenced by the level of representation – the presidents of Ukraine and Israel Volodymyr Zelensky and Isaac Herzog, ministers, parliamentarians, representatives of the UN, the European Commission, most of the world's leading Jewish associations and national communities, scientists, businessmen. Each of the more than forty speakers are world-class figures.