This survey of contemporary issues in Ukrainian Jewish life provides information on the following topics: local Jewish community organizations, Jewish welfare needs, Jewish education, community property, emigration, and future prospects. Part one of this article can be found at http://hdl.handle.net/10207/17996
This survey of contemporary issues in Ukrainian Jewish life provides detailed information on the following topics: contemporary Ukrainian political and economic climate; Jewish history; Jewish demography; contemporary antisemistism; indigenous Jewish leadership; the role of international Jewish organizations; and Ukrainian national Jewish organizations.
Demographically, post-Soviet Jewry has seen an overall decline resulting from assimilation, intermarriage, low fertility, high mortality, and emigration of younger age cohorts. Some demographers believe that less than 500,000 Jews remain in the post-Soviet states. An intermarriage rate that some view as exceeding 80 percent creates complex situations for those Jewish groups that prefer to confine their programs to halachically Jewish individuals.
Jewish identity among Jews in Russia and Ukraine is most likely to be expressed as a sense of Jewish heritage, in particular, a common cultural or intellectual heritage, rather than a sense of common spirituality or sharply focused religious practice. Post-Soviet Jews also tend to believe that Jews should be familiar with modern Israel, but not necessarily feel obligated to live in Israel.
The author discusses the level, nature and characteristics of antisemitism currently extant in the former Soviet Union -- specifically Russia and Ukraine, the only post-Soviet states with substantial Jewish populations. The author reviews phenomena including acts of violence committed against Jews (and perceived Jews), violence against other ethnic groups, government antisemitism, fascism, radical political parties, Church antisemitism, and the fragility of Jewish institutions.