Statement of Need
Rabbi Bleich arrived in Kiev in 1989 with the goal of gathering and strengthening Jewish life in the former Soviet Union (FSU). After 10 years of work he formalized his organization by establishing the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine (Now, U.J.C.E.E.A.). Due to the Jewish community’s historical persecution in the FSU dating back to the beginning of the Holocaust, assimilation is without a doubt an existential threat to European Jewry that is becoming graver every day. Rabbi Bleich and the work of UJCEEA is responding to this threat diligently by providing a variety of community and human service programs with the overarching goal of reconnecting people with Jewish life.
To achieve his goal, Rabbi Bleich and U.J.C.E.E.A. keeps a steady focus on both connected and disconnected Jewish youth, families both Jewish and interfaith, the elderly and each of their individual connections to Judaism and the local Jewish community. By providing engaging programs, services and supports aimed at building trust, Jewish identity, Jewish pride and education, U.J.C.E.E.A. has experienced considerable success which by welcome default has created more demand for services. All of these services are un-funded and rely on the generosity of donors
In addition to assimilation, Anti-Semitism has once again become a critical problem for Jews in the FSU. In Ukraine and FSU overall, there is a strong feeling of fear from this growing danger. This fear naturally lends itself to the growing assimilation rate. U.J.C.E.E.A.’s overall services and supports have become an inherent tool for addressing this issue. Through Rabbi Bleich, U.J.C.E.E.A. is the official representation of the Ukrainian Jewish community to the government of Ukraine, other Eastern European countries as well as all international Jewish bodies such as the World Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Congress.
U.J.C.E.E.A. supports the Jewish community throughout Ukraine and has the privilege when funding is made available to support European Jewish life (Education, poverty relief, Jewish Identity via summer camp, school systems and Holocaust survivor support systems etc.).
U.J.C.E.E.A. is dedicated to providing vital life services, education and supports to the Jewish Community. Due to ongoing and increased requests for human services, educational and support programs in conjunction with the declining economic condition, U.J.C.E.E.A. seeks both monetary and product support for its operation which currently has a 4 million dollar operating budget. U.J.C.E.E.A.’s long term goal is to endow this budget while continuing to add programs supporting Jewish life across the FSU at all levels. It is our hope that the global Jewish Community will take more notice of this growing need and provide the support that will underscore the restoration of the Eastern European Jewish Community.