Richmond’s Jewish community enjoyed a Ukrainian cultural evening last week with poetry and music from the embattled country performed in front of a capacity crowd in West London by recent refugees.
Actors and musicians who are staying with Jewish families while their country’s armed forces seek to repel a Russian invasion shared a slice of their rich heritage in an event organised by the Richmond Jewish Community Hub (RJCH).
Iryna Mushkina, RJCH coordinator, said: “Many of our synagogue members have opened their homes and hearts to Ukrainians, others are actively involved in various projects helping people to settle in properly… We mean it when we say we understand and we want to help”.
A Ukrainian refugee and co-organiser of the event, Irina Stepanova, said “the fight on the cultural front” was very important and thanked the synagogue for the chance to share “the beauty and uniqueness of Ukrainian culture”.
In attendance was the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr Julia Cambridge, who said: “I was honoured to join the community. It was a pleasure to immerse myself in Ukrainian culture and learn more about the poets and authors who shaped it.”
Richmond Synagogue chair Malcolm Levi said: “It was a moving experience which underlined the brotherhood of humankind. We hope to invite them again and help in any way we can.”
Mushkina added: “It was a superb event, one of a kind, which really created a vibe in the whole community. So many times throughout Jewish history, being expelled from the homeland, we wished that someone would host such event for us.”
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