From the President: Focus on Ukraine

Penny Blumenstein

Today was a day of learning.

We had the opportunity to meet with the Israeli attaché and the German and American ambassadors. They gave us a perspective of the political situation and the prospects and difficulties facing the new Ukraine government.

We also met with some who are part of that new government. The new first deputy to the President was the CEO of Microsoft Ukraine. He left his position to help the new government reorganize and restructure.

Everyone is talking about cleaning up the corruption, creating an honest and fair judiciary, creating a new business environment. Citizens of Ukraine are coming to help. Everyone sees this as an opportunity to have a life that has hope and opportunity.

We had lunch with Rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman. Here is another example of the volunteer spirit that has arisen. He has housed many displaced families in the summer camp facility he had recently purchased. He is being assisted with the support of many individuals who have come forward with goods and funding.

This is the new Ukraine, united perhaps for the first time with common goals and shared dreams.

On to Odessa tomorrow...

Penny Blumenstein is the President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.



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