Alexandr Dubinsky (Александр Дубинский) is a blogger/muckraker in Kiev with 119,000 followers on FaceBook and a popular website focused on corruption in Ukraine. Chief Rabbi of the Ukraine, Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich fell into the glare of some unwanted publicity because of his connection to one of Dubinsky’s targets.
On Monday (5/6/19) Dubinsky posted an attack on oligarch and politician Boris Lozhkin (Борис Ложкин). He wrote:
As you know, last year the former head of the presidential administration [of defeated incumbent, Poroshenko], Boris Lozhkin , decided to gain a foothold among Orthodox Jews, and became chief of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine https://jcu.org.ua/management where he got to the center of an international sex scandal.
The head rabbi of Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich, who turned out to be a sexual molester, became the curator and spiritual mentor of Lozhkin in the EKU.
In connection with these suspicions, the mention of Bleich was removed from the website of the Conference of European Rabbis, where he was a member of the presidium, the executive and the permanent committees.
Now they are joking in the synagogue – having decided to become a Jew, Lozhkin immediately fell into … the hands of a pedophile. (translated from the original Russian)
Dubinsky was referencing Bleich’s removal from the CER website which I first reported in March. That posting got a few thousand hits in the end of March and early April and then readership tapered off as it usually does and dwindled down to an average of 20 views a day. Suddenly, on Monday there were about 1,500 hits, mostly from the Ukraine. I assume it was because of the Dubinsky’s FaceBook posting at 8 am, EST (US). Several other Ukrainian blogs picked up the story shortly afterwards.
Bleich and Lozhkin certainly have teamed up. The same day that Dubinsky was trashing Bleich was the second day of a high profile, well funded Kyiv Jewish Forum, complete with its own Twitter account. The Forum account Tweeted, “Rabbi Bleich @Ukrainerabbi provides closing remarks for Day 1 of #KyivJewishForum – Jewish “Davos”; congratulates JCU President@lozhkin_boris on the successful event.
Apart from his removal from positions with the Conference of European Rabbis, Bleich has lost influence with the incoming government of Ukraine. He backed the incumbent, Poroshenko in the recent election and tied up with Poroshenko’s former adminstrator, Lokhshin. But Poroshenko lost by a big margin to Zelensky (who is incidentally a Jew (though decidedly not religious).
Incoming President Zelensky did not attend Bleich’s showpiece Kyiv Jewish Forum in spite of many other prominent foreign attendees including the Elan Carr, US Special Envoy for Anti-Semitism, US Senator Joseph Lieberman, World Jewish Congress President Ambassador Ronald Lauder, celebrity refusenik and Israeli politician, Natan Sharansky, German Ambassador Michaela Küchler, Dr. Itamar Rabinovitch (an important Israeli political analyst and mid-east negotiator), Carl Gershman, President of the US National Endowment for Democracy along with the heads of the two major churches and the current Ukrainian President and Prime Minister.
While incoming President Zelensky did not attend Bleich and Lokhshin’s event, he did meet with a group of Chabad rabbis. Seems like Bleich hitched his wagon to the wrong political stars and his influence may be fading.
Stay tuned. I expect a lot more to unfold to this story.