UCSJ's Meylakh Sheykhet writes of his refusal of Lviv City Hall Honor
This is my report to UCSJ about how I declined an honor I was supposed to receive at a commemoration ceremony at the Lviv city hall. I decided to stop their attempt to cover up UCSJ's many years of struggle for the really valuable, historic Jewish heritage by giving me the honor of handing to me a copy of the key to the no longer existant 40+ synagogues in Lviv.
Lviv kicked off the European Days of Jewish culture with a ceremony honoring those active in Jewish culture, heritage preservation, and recovery of Jewish memory in eastern Galicia, Ukraine. The organizers of the event at the hall were the Lviv city hall, the Center of Urban History of Eastern Central Europe, the Chesed Arye (American affiliate of the JDC), the Charitable Fund of Bnai Brith, and Hillel.
When I was called to the stage to receive the honor, I instead addressed the gathering --
Dear friend of Ukrainian Jewish heritage:
With great respect to all of you, I regret to say that, according to Jewish principles, I cannot accept the symbolic key because the authentic Jewish heritage has been tortured, violated, commercialized and ignored in Lviv.
Up to now, the Jewish cemeteries occupied by flea markets, illegal construction, and the Jewish mass graves have not been commemorated, protected or somehow preserved. Synagogues and their remains are misused for commercial and political purposes, including Holocaust revisionism.
All this puts our local and the global Jewish communities in grave pain.
With all due respect to you, I cannot accept any honor from the organizers of today's event. Thank you.