In the Jewish community of the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, residents were shocked to discover that an unknown individual had splashed red paint on the exterior walls of the synagogue. The police have initiated an investigation, and it is suspected that this act is related to the situation in Israel. The city’s rabbi and Chabad emissary, Rabbi Shalom Gottlieb, said, “The situation in Mykolaiv is already delicate due to the security situation over the past two years. Incidents like these only cause greater pain.”
Antisemitism is on the rise globally and has manifested in Ukraine. Against the backdrop of the security tension in Israel, an unknown person splashed red paint on the synagogue’s exterior wall in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.
Rabbi Shalom Gottlieb arrived at the synagogue early in the morning and was dismayed to discover the incident. “I immediately called the police,” Rabbi Gottlieb reported. “They took the matter seriously and launched an investigation. We also informed the security officer for the local Jewish communities operating here on behalf of CWA Chabad’s Global Security Headquarters.”
According to Rabbi Gottlieb, “The initial assessment is that this act was carried out in response to the rampant antisemitic incitement in the wake of the situation in Israel. However, all possible leads will be thoroughly examined.” The rabbi further noted, “We were shocked because there’s a curfew in place from midnight, and it’s unclear when the perpetrator had the opportunity to do this.”
Jews in Mykolaiv expressed their deep sorrow about the incident. The city’s rabbi said, “There’s more pain here than fear. The situation in Mykolaiv is already fragile due to the security concerns over the past two years. Incidents like these only intensify the pain. In general, the Jewish community here is closely connected to what’s happening in the Holy Land, and naturally, such an antisemitic incident deeply saddens all of us.”
Mykolaiv is one of the cities that has suffered prolonged consequences from the ongoing conflict. “Until now, we don’t have regular water supply in our homes,” described the rabbi, illustrating the city’s living conditions.
However, Rabbi Gottlieb also emphasized that the local Jewish community remains highly cohesive. “Our community is vibrant and active,” he said. “We have activities around the clock and throughout the year, despite the challenging circumstances.”
“Every weekend,” he added, “my wife and our family bake thousands of challahs for Shabbat, which are distributed to five hundred Jewish residents who come here for an organized distribution. Along with the challahs, they receive Shabbat candles, wine for Kiddush, and other items. The antisemitic incident deeply saddens us, but from our past experiences, we know that such incidents only strengthen the community even further.”