Original article and video (in Russian): Shimon Briman

A unique self-defense training course focusing on reacting to anti-Semitic violence was held at the Central Synagogue in Kiev at the initiative of the World Forum of Russian speaking Jewry.

Photo by Shimon Briman

Photo by Shimon Briman

The challenges of personal safety and the goal of preventing anti-Semitic attacks in Ukraine have brought to life a project of the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry who held a special seminar on self-defense in Kiev’s Jewish community.

On March 9th, More than 30 members and employees of Kiev’s Jewish community and the Central Brodsky Synagogue took part in a self-defense seminar under the auspices of the head rabbi of Ukraine and Kiev Moshe-Reuven Azman. The training was carried out by Israeli instructors who are former IDF elite forces and security personnel representing the OZMA organization. The practical instructions focused on developing personal defense skills, a quick reaction to the sudden appearance of street dangers, and establishing correct ways of behaving in an aggressive crowd.

The participants in the training session analyzed a series of video clips with scenes of different types of attacks and actively participated in a training session directed by experienced Israeli instructors. Strategies for countering threats of street violence and primary defense methods using everyday items were perfected during the session. The Kiev seminar was the second training session of its kind held under the initiative of the president of the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry, Alexander Levin. The first seminar for Western European Jews was successfully held in January, 2014 in Brussels.

This project, which aims to strengthen the security of members of Kiev’s Jewish community and act as a counterweight to local anti-Semitism is also a symbol of solidarity between Russian-speaking Jews around the world and Ukrainian Jewry, who are experiencing difficult times.

Press center of the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry.