From the Fire of Ukraine’s Civil War – A New Jewish Shtetl?

Anatevka is coming to life once again: a quickly-built neighborhood for thousands of Jewish refugees of the raging Ukrainian war.

The past 16 months of armed conflict between Russian-supported self-declared republics and the Ukrainian government has wrought havoc in the country. The warfare thus far has cost 6,200 casualties, and no fewer than 1.2 million homeless refugees.

The new "Anatevka" is being built outside Ukraine's capital city of Kiev, as a private initiative of Ukraine's Jewish Community and its Rabbi, Moshe Asman. Construction work began only two months after the purchase, and continues at an unusually speedy pace. One hundred refugees will live there at first, including many orphans, and hundreds more will join them in the coming months.

Construction costs for the new "camp" are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars, most of which will come from donations.

Among the refugees are several thousand Jews, mostly from the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, now under the control of pro-Russian forces. These Jews have lost their homes and jobs. The Ukrainian government is unable to help, given the financial crisis the war has brought on.

The State of Israel has offered help to individuals, but not more than that; various Jewish organizations have stepped in instead. Some Jews have been flown to Israel.

Currently standing are a "dormitory" style apartment building, and next to be built will be a synagogue, a mikveh, schools and nurseries, including a heder, permanent homes, an orphanage, and a home for the elderly. The first refugees are scheduled to move in within the next ten days.


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