The Jewish Agency for Israel is urging renewed caution for all its employees in the former Soviet Union in the wake of a killing of one of its emissaries in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
Shimon Feingold, 46, died Saturday afternoon after he approached a neighbor to complain about loud music, according to the police.
The 21-year-old neighbor was arrested the next morning and confessed to hitting Feingold in the head. The blow caused Feingold to slip and fatally injure himself on the stairs, officials said.
The neighbor, who was studying physical education at Kiev State University, admitted that he was very drunk at the time, officials said.
He has been charged with manslaughter.
“This is very hard for us, very draining, because Shimon was a very good man, a very good teacher,” said Yoseph Tropiansky, the head of the Jewish Agency’s operations in Ukraine.
“We are asking our envoys to be very careful. People here can be very aggressive,” he said.
Tropiansky said the Jewish Agency now has 92 envoys posted in different parts of the former Soviet Union. “This situation had nothing to do with Shimon being a Jews or an Israeli,” he added. “It was a dispute between two neighbors and one was very drunk.”
The assessment was echoed by a spokesman for the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, who said, “There was no political content to this incident.”
Feingold had been living and working with Jewish youth in Kiev for about a year before his death, Tropiansky said.
Feingold, whose body was flown to Israel for burial at this Kibbutz Hazerim near Beersheba, is survived by a wife and two children.