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Rabinovich re-elected to lead Ukrainian Jewry

Vadim Rabinovich was re-elected president of the Congress of Jews of Ukraine.

Some 1,800 delegates gathered in Kiev for the 2007 congress gave the charismatic oligarch a new five-year term leading the umbrella organization for the All-Ukranian Jewish Congress and the Congress of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.

The re-election of Rabinovich, a controversial media mogul who by some estimates owns up to a quarter of Ukraine’s newspapers and the Arsenal Kiev football club, came as little surprise.

Rabinovich has donated millions of dollars of his considerable fortune to Jewish causes in Ukraine. During the Congress he spoke of plans for a yeshiva to be built on the grounds of the Babi Yar massacre site in Kiev.

He remains a lightning rod for controversy in the Ukraine and abroad; he was declared persona non grata by the U.S. government in 1995. As with many oligarchs it is unclear how Rabinovich made his fortune. He has been accused of selling weapons to unsavory regimes, among them the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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