As the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate, a city-based Ukrainian group announced Monday an international fundraising effort aimed at protecting the country's Jewish and other minority communities.
The Ukrainian-American International Relief Fund of New York plans to use money raised to provide humanitarian aid.
The group worries that the country's current political unrest could trigger acts of anti-Semitism.
"Today, we are faced by a threat, an outside threat called Russia. This brings everyone together. We are all together. We all want to protect Ukraine and its sovereignty and its borders," said Rabbi Yakkov Dov Bleich, chief rabbi of Ukraine. "We are all worried about the future of the Jewish community in Ukraine. We want the Jewish community to continue to feel safe and continue to thrive and grow the way it's been growing the last 22 years. We don't want to return to Soviet times."
Bleich also said that he will meet with Secretary of State John Kerry in Kiev Tuesday to discuss the crisis.