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December 3, 2014 11:18 am

Ukrainian Jewish Leader Downplays Jewish MP’s Rise to Parliament Speaker

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Volodymyr Groysman. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The Ukrainian parliament’s decision to confirm a Jewish MP as speaker last week will not have major impact on the country’s Jewish community’s participation in Ukrainian society because in Ukraine “every person can (already) get any position independent of his ethnic origin,” said Eduard Dolinsky, the executive director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.

The only nominee for the position was Volodymyr Groysman, who is from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and has served as the mayor of the city of Vinnytsia, Regional Development, Construction and Communal Living Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister.

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Dolinsky told The Jerusalem Post that “for the Jewish community it’s not much of a difference.”  He also believes that Groysman may not have “any connection to the Jewish community” and may be “half-Jewish” on his father’s side. However, Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, did declare him Jewish according to Orthodox law.

Meanwhile other individuals of Jewish descent have recently reached success in Ukrainian politics. Billionaire Igor Kolomoisky who heads the United Jewish Communities of Ukraine has been appointed as governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region and has been campaigning against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. Though he ultimately lost, Jewish oligarch Radim Rabinovich ran in the Ukrainian presidential election in May.

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