A Year After: Jewish Mariupol is Thankful for the Miracles

Exactly a year after the horrific antisemitic attempt to break into the JCC and Synagogue of Mariupol, East Ukraine, and brutally murder its members during the morning prayers – the Jewish community gathered for a special festive online thanksgiving event to thank the Almighty for the wonderful miracles. Rabbi Nuginsky from Boston, who recently survived a terrorist attack, was the guest speaker.

On Tuesday morning, 7th Av 5780 (July 28 2020), an antisemitic attempt to break into the JCC and synagogue of the Jewish community in Mariupol, Ukraine, took place during morning prayers. After asking the guard twice to make sure he had arrived at the synagogue, the antisemitic intruder tried to break in forcibly with a sharp ax, aiming to injure and murder as many worshipers as possible.

Miraculously, the guard somehow managed to overcome the murderous intruder, take the ax from him, and drive him away. The worshipers and the community workers, present at the time, all survived without any physical injury. However, the guard was wounded and in need of medical treatment and hospitalization and the community’s members all experienced deep trauma and anxiety following the attack.

On Friday, the 7th of Av 5780, exactly a year after the attack – according to the Hebrew calendar – the community gathered online (due to Covid-19 limitations) for a special, festive and uplifting event, to thank G-d for the miracles that occurred that day. Each family received a festive meal beforehand, to enjoy during the online conference. During the event, Richard Chalamozov, the injured guard, was presented with a special gift on behalf of the community for his life-saving efforts.

Rabbi Shlomo Nuginski, who recently survived a kidnapping and murder attempt outside his synagogue in Boston by an Islamic terrorist, shared his personal story with the participants, bringing them to tears and uplifting their spirits and Jewish pride.

“This special event unified our community and brought our hearts together,” says the city’s Chief Rabbi Menachem Mendel Cohen. “Life for our community has been very complicated during the last decade. We experienced first-hand the war in Eastern Ukraine, suffered from Covid-19 and then trauma after the anti-semitic attack – yet we all feel that it is very important to thank the Almighty for his miracles and pray for a better future and a speedy redemption.”

To learn more about the Jewish community of Mariupol, click here. 

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