«Jewish Observer»
March 2002
5762 Nisan

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The next issue of "Rassvet" (Shakhar), the newspaper of the Sevastopol Jewish community, is a jubilee one. The publication that the Jews living in the city of the naval glory had dreamt about for so long became real in March 1997. The editor suggested calling it "Rassvet" to pay tribute to the first Russian language Jewish publication that was printed in Odessa in 1860-1861. Then, "Rassvet" initiated collecting donations for a monument to Jewish soldiers that died during the first defense of Sevastopol. That monument, erected in 1864, became a symbol and pride of the Jews of Sevastopol. Traditions of military valor determined one of the leading themes in the newspaper - account of courage and bravery of Jewish soldiers in the battles of Sevastopol and during the Great Patriotic War.

60 issues of "Rassvet" make a thick volume. The contents of its pages reflect the diverse activities of the Jewish community of Sevastopol and the Khesed Shakhar charity center, the history and culture of the Jewish people, the revival of their national traditions, spiritual bonds between generations, collaboration with national and cultural communities of the city, the life of our fellow-countrymen in the Promised Land.

Turning to the history of Sevastopol helped to discover new remarkable names. Among them are 6 Jewish doctors, who were awarded the orders of St.Stanislav, 3rd class during the Crimea campaign, private Belinsky, a hero of the Crimea war, scout Isaak Fonar, Richard Zorge's messenger, 9 Jews who were submarine captains. The biographies of eleven Heroes of the Soviet Union, Jews by nationality, that fought for Sevastopol were published for the first time.

Attention to every man, to his life story is revealed in many newspaper publications.

On the pages of "Rassvet" one can find the events that took place on July 12,1942, the day when the Nazis shot Jews and Crimean citizens in Sevastopol. Attempts to belittle the tragedy of the Holocaust and anti-Semitic claims made in some speeches and articles are denounced.

Most of the newspaper publications are about the Khesed Shakhar charity center. Hundreds of letters from the readers speak about the effectiveness of social and communal programs for all age members of the Jewish community.

The materials that were first published in "Rassvet" were reprinted by the "Forward", "The Jewish World" (New York), "Vesti", "The Weekly News" (Tel-Aviv) and by Moscow and Kyiv publications.

Since its first issue the Rasvet has been edited by Boris Gelman, a member of the Unions of Journalists of Russian and Ukraine, a former captain, 2nd rank, who has more than 30-year experience in naval publications in Sevastopol and Transpolar Region. He is an honorary member of the Jewish Council of Ukraine.

1000 copies of "Rassvet" are published with the financial assistance provided by Odessa office of the American Joint Distribution Committee.

The newspaper is sent to the Jewish communities of the Crimea, to 18 national communities of Sevastopol, to Odessa, Kyiv, Nikolayev, Kharkov, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Donetsk, Jerusalem, New York.

May every Jewish family be happy and see the sunrise together with the Shakhar.


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2002 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org