Roslyn cantors keep close contact with congregation member in Ukraine capitol

Two cantors at a temple in Roslyn are in daily contact with a member of their congregation in Ukraine’s capitol of Kyiv.

News 12 Staff

Mar 12, 2022, 5:47 PM

Updated 834 days ago

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Two cantors at a temple in Roslyn are in daily contact with a member of their congregation in Ukraine’s capitol of Kyiv.
As the bombing continues over Ukraine, Sergei and Elena Schwartz of Temple Sinai of Roslyn get daily updates of the Russian invasion of their homeland from Vitaly Karobochinskiy – the office manager at Temple Hatikvah in Kyiv.
Vitaly says he and his family must hunker down in a bomb shelter several times a day.
“Hear a siren about four, five times a day, four times during the night, it's constant. That's the lifestyle now,” said Karobochinskiy.
Despite the dangers, Vitaly says he is staying in Kyiv to keep an eye on the elderly members of his congregation who are too weak to flee the country and to protect the temple’s Torah scrolls.
Vitaly says he and his congregation are drawing strength from supporters worldwide, especially from his sister congregation at Temple Sinai.
For the Schwartz’s, Russia’s war in Ukraine hits home. They grew up in Ukraine, immigrated to the U.S. when they were 18 and are now cantors at the Temple Sinai.
“It's heartbreaking, it is really difficult to comprehend that Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Those grandparents of those Russian troops and the Ukrainian troops – they were fighting together in World War II. And now they're fighting against each other,” said Elena Schwartz.
They say they are concerned for the safety of family and friends in their homeland.
The Schwartz’s recently rallied 14 cantors from across the country to host a virtual benefit concert.
They raised more than $30,000 to help families in Ukraine and Poland.


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