The Jerusalem Post
by Sam Sokol
A student at a kollel, an institute for full-time, advanced Talmud study for married men, was stabbed in Kiev on Friday evening.
It was the second attack on a Jewish target in the Ukrainian capital in under a week.
Three youths ambushed the victim as he made his way home from services at a synagogue in the Podil neighborhood, according to Hatzalah Ukraine, a local Jewish organization.
The assailants beat their victim, Dov Ber Glickman, 28, before stabbing him three times in the feet and fleeing, Chabad emissary Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman said.
Glickman made his way back to the synagogue where he collapsed. He was taken to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery on his foot.
Hatzalah Ukraine called for increased security at synagogues in response to the recent “serious anti-Semitic incidents.”
On Shabbat a week ago, four men followed Hillel Wertheimer, an Israeli-born Hebrew teacher, home from synagogue and beat him.
“Nowadays, the beating of a defenseless Jewish school teacher is a culmination of anti-Semitism. The Ukrainian government must take tough measures to prevent such incidents in future,” Boris Fuchsmann, president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine said after last week’s attack.
US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt confirmed in an email to The Jerusalem Post that he met with Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Dov Bleich last week to discuss “recent political developments.”
The World Jewish Congress said Wertheimer’s beating was part of a wider trend of “anti-Semitic incitement and extremist activities” in the country fostered in part by the growing popularity of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party, which the Jewish organization has deemed a neo-Nazi group.
Svoboda has been a prominent fixture of the political protests that have wracked Kiev in the face of President Viktor Yanukovich’s pivot toward Moscow and rejection of closer trade links with the European Union. While most European far-right parties oppose closer integration with Europe, Svoboda has embraced the spurned EU trade deal as better for Ukraine than tightening ties with Russia, which the party sees as a threat to Ukrainian independence.
Several Jewish leaders have expressed concern over the prominent role that the Svoboda party has played in the protests and have called for beefed-up security at community institutions.
Speaking to the Post from the hospital on Saturday evening, Azman said that Glickman who also goes by the name Boris Sherba, was beginning to improve but that he had “lost a lot of blood” and was still unable to walk.
“We are astonished by the the lack of reaction to last week’s episode and now we have confirmed that these are planned attacks,” Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Dov Bleich told the Post, confirming that the Jewish community is “working with the police and security services of Ukraine to find the culprits.”