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Local Jewish community prays for Ukraine

Members of the JCC in Kingston took part in a special service on Thursday.

KINGSTON, Pa. — In a video message sent across the world, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked anyone watching to "shout, not remain silent" if you support him and his people.

It's a message people at the Jewish Community Center in Kingston are taking to heart.

"We as Jews know historically the world was very quiet during the Holocaust during World War II, and a lot of the Holocaust took place, unfortunately, in that area of the world, and the Ukraine has a place called Babi Yar, which has a Holocaust memorial which was destroyed by the Russians," said Rabbi David Kaplan.

Many members of the Jewish community gathered at the JCC to watch Zelenskyy's message and pray for his country.

"He is a grandchild of Holocaust victims himself; the president is Jewish," added Kaplan. "So, therefore, I felt in solidarity with him, I would put on his shirt and just to show that we are with him in the fight, we can't be there militarily. So we can we can show our not only our connection to him but when you fight a battle, there are different fronts to be fought. And in the Bible, Moses famously did not fight with a weapon. He used the power of prayer."

In addition to watching the video, people prayed, sang, and listened to messages from rabbis currently in Ukraine.

"I'm talking to you from the basement of the five-story building, which was built during the Stalin regime," Rabbi Eric Mollo read from a transcription of a message. "This is the only place where we can hide from airstrikes from bombardments. Kyiv is on lockdown, but today is the last day of winter, and spring is coming. Spring usually brings hope."

"I think that the Ukrainian people have taught us as Americans maybe what it means to value what we have our freedom and our ability to invoke prayer and be very publicly assembled to help," added Kaplan.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube page. 

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