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Ukraine chief rabbi: remember Holodomor

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One of Ukraine’s chief rabbis appealed to his country’s Jews to commemorate Holodomor victims.

Rabbi Azriel Chaikin called on Ukrainian Jews to commemorate victims of Holodomor on Nov. 24, the national memorial day of the 1932-33 famine that killed thousands of Ukrainians.

“All of us, irrespective of nationality or faith, should commemorate guiltless victims. This is our duty as citizens of Ukraine,” Rabbi Chaikin’s appeal read.

Rabbi Chaikin called on Jews to light candles after Shabbat to pay tribute to the victims of the Soviet-era famine, which he called “one of the most terrible tragedies of the 20th century,” and called on all rabbis in Ukraine to read a memorial prayer during Saturday’s synagogue services.

Recently President Victor Yuschenko urged church leaders to join the memorial events and said it was important to erect Holodomor monuments in all regions hit by the famine.

The year 2008 will be declared a national year of Holodomor remembrance in deference to a request by Yuschenko.

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