How would you sum up 2015 year? Was it successful for Ukraine, and what has it brought for Ukrainian-Israeli relations?
I must admit that it was a really essential and crucial year. During this time, numerous delegations of different fields performed country visits to Ukraine and Israel. A bunch of remarkable projects in the field of culture has been launched. And of course, civil society in Ukraine has become a very important force! In fact, people are doing a lot for his country! Nevertheless, the defenders die in the struggle for freedom of Ukraine, and it is just unacceptable! This year was miserable, because a lot of people were killed, and many had their limbs amputated! And it does not matter how far from the zone of the hostilities do you live – it is just impossible not to think about it.
Our main achievement is the people - activists, volunteers with whom we run all the projects. “Israeli friends of Ukraine” is a platform that unites and offers an opportunity to promote one’s initiative and idea. We have a wonderful team of volunteer support and help. The common projects, such as “Medical bridge”, “Letter to heaven”, “Festival of Ukrainian embroidery”, have positively influenced on the relations between our countries. The aim is to develop relationships in the field of culture and education.
What are the plans and goals of your organization for the next year?
Our purpose is to engage more local people in our projects. I mean those who were born in Israel, but have Ukrainian origin – there is plenty of them! It is really essential to keep them informed about Ukraine, but it is also important to talk about Israel. So in 2016 we start a new project – “Share Israel”.
How many people in the country are showing their interest in Ukraine, its culture and traditions, as well as domestic policy?
Unfortunately, we think that the amount of such people is not that big. However, we are working on it. We are trying to show that Ukraine, with its history, music, and tradition, is very close to Israel and different from Russia!
Has the number of immigrants from the Ukraine to Israel increased this year, or nor?
If you check the statistics, the answer is yes, definitely! This is attested by Foundation for the friendship of Christians and Jews "Keren le-Edidut" and Jewish Agency for Israel. And one of our goals is to become such a place, the center for all who came this year from Ukraine to Israel.
Do they support the Ukrainian traditions?
We are natives of the countries of the former Soviet Union, and not only Ukrainians are among us. That is why the dialogue between the Ukrainian and Hebrew, between Ukrainians and Israelis is so significant for us!