My father’s side of the Kolchinsky clan were Ukrainian Jews for a thousand years. If my grandfather Yaakov didn’t immigrate to Palestine in 1922 I would be caught today at age 77 in the Ukrainian quagmire. So, you can understand the depth of my feeling wanting to help my ex-kinship people in trouble to find their roots (with roots you don’t have to struggle or pretend that you have achieved a good life).

The history of Ukraine is full of wars, mixed identities, territorial confusions and migrations, only second to the pain of the Jewish people. The chance for integration and peace under these circumstances is nil if you try to fix it the old way, i.e., take sides with Russian sphere of influence and economics or the European Union. Instead of an election in May the Ukrainian parliament should pass a law that allows Western and Eastern Ukraine to become federally independent from each other for ten years. Meantime, each independent entity will invite me to chair an educational convention that will structure a great K-12 system to emphasize cultural integration and skilled labor preparation.

You and I know that this will not happen. Therefor, pray that the Ukrainian people find a way to lessen their pain without. Good luck.


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