Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Jews finding religious freedom in Ukraine

It's nice to read heartwarming stories like this about Jews in Ukraine ... and I suspect this sort of thing is closer to the truth than a lot of written (and audio-visual) works have led the public to believe.

Michael Kruk, a cantor at a Miami-Dade County synagogue, left Ukraine almost 30 years ago because he wanted religious freedom.

Living in the communist country forced him to hide his ''Jewishness.'' The government restricted his ability to pray at synagogues, study the Torah and converse with other Jews.

When his feet touched the ground in Ukraine a few weeks ago ... Kruk wanted to see signs of religious freedom in his homeland. He saw signs of hope inside the four walls of Progressive Judaism Community Temple in Lutsk, a small Ukrainian town. The 200-family synagogue chanted Hebrew prayers, met for Shabbat services and expressed Jewish tradition through colorful art. ...

Full article here.

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