The new Torah scroll
The new Torah scrollCourtesy of the Federation of Jewish communities in Ukraine

Around 200 Jews from the city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine celebrated the dedication of a new Torah scroll last weekend.

Until the start of the war with Russia, Kryvyi Rih was home to around 650,000 people, including thousands of Jews. Professor Oleksandr Semenovych Zelenskyy, father of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was part of the city's Jewish community until recently, when he left the city.

President Zelensky himself was born in Kryvyi Rih, has visited the local synagogue a few times, and was in contact with members of the community.

Despite the war, the city's Stern-Shulman synagogue held a Torah scroll dedication. Rabbi Liron Edri, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and city rabbi, who remained in Kryvyi Rih together with his congregants, said, "This scroll is dedicated to the protection of the area, its residents, and peace in Ukraine. Despite everything, no one will manage to defeat our spirit."

Days before the war broke out, another Torah scroll was dedicated in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine.

Rabbi Meir Stambler, Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, said, "The Jewish communities in the country, with the help of Chabad emissaries, are continuing daily routine as much as possible, including this moving dedication of a Torah scroll. We are preparing to hold Passover seders all around the country, as much as possible, with the hopes that the upcoming Passover holiday will be celebrated in a rebuilt Jerusalem."