A full day of meetings in the European Parliament in Strasbourg took place with Rabbi Raphael Rutman, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, who traveled 23 hours from Kyiv, joined by Rabbi Levi Matusof from Brussels, a liaison for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine at the European Institutions.
It was an opportunity to also present handbaked Matzah “Shmura” – the unleavened bread we eat on Pessach Passover (16-23 April 2022), symbol of freedom. This one was imported from Dnipro, Ukraine.
Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament welcomed them in her office and shared some her experiences of her recent trip to Kyiv. They had a productive discussion on a range of issues.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, who traveled to Kyiv later that week, enquired about the state of evacuation and humanitarian assistance on the ground.
In all the meetings, Rabbi Rutman stressed that since the war began, the FJCU contributed greatly to distributing food, medicine, facilitating evacuations and providing temporary housing for tens thousands of refugees.
They also met with Margaritis Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission “Promoting our European Way of Life”, also in charge of the fight against anti-Semitism; Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for Climate; Dubravka Suica, Vice President of the European Commission for Democracy & Domography; Janusz Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture.
Nicola Beer, Vice President of the European Parliament, Special envoy on combatting religious discrimination, including Antisemitism (Renew, DE); Antonio Tajani, Former President of the European Parliament (EPP, IT); Michael Gahler, Permanent rapporteur on Ukraine (EPP, DE); Monika Benova, Quaestor of the European Parliament (S&D, SK); Radosław Sikorski, Chair of the Delegation of Relations with USA (EPP, PL); Petras Austrevicius, Chair of the group “Friends of Ukraine” (RENEW, LT); Andrey Kovatchev (EPP, BG); Reinhard Butikofer (RENEW, DE); Marc Tarabella (S&D, BE); Corina Cretu (S&D, RO); Brice Hortefeux (EPP, FR); and Róża Thun (Renew, PL).