This past weekend, CJP/JCRC Post Soviet Jewry Project Chair Ann Levin and JCRC Director Jeremy Burton had the privilege of visiting our partners in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (where we operate the Dnep Kehilla Project). The following remarks were delivered by Jeremy in the synagogue on Shabbat morning.

I come before you on behalf of your brothers and sisters in Boston to say Gut Shabbos, and I wish to share with you two thoughts today.

First, like all of you, our hearts and prayers are for those three boys who were kidnapped in Eretz Yisrael.

Jews all around the world are crying out "Bring Back Our Boys." OUR boys.

Because Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali are all of our children. And their parents are all of our brothers and sisters.

They, and all Jews, are our mishpacha, our family. In Boston, in Dnepropetrovsk, in Israel we are a family.

Second, I think of this weeks' Parshah and of Korach.  We read of those who seek to turn Jew against Jew, and to turn Jews away from each other.  And we see what God's response was.

In Washington there are those who would turn us away from you by telling us that now is not a time to come to Ukraine to be with you.

In Moscow there are those who are turning Jew against Jew as they look toward Ukraine with ambitions.

You tell us that you are not listening to those people in Moscow.

And we tell you today that we are not listening to those people in Washington.

We are turning toward you. For twenty-two years and longer, Boston and Dnepropetrovsk have turned to each other. We will continue to do so in the years to come. You are our mishpacha, our family.  

Shabbat shalom.

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