Yaakov Bleich

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Yaakov Dov Bleich
Blajh Jakov Dov.jpg
Born (1964-10-19) October 19, 1964 (age 57)[1]
DenominationHasidic Judaism
Alma materTelshe Yeshiva (Chicago)
SynagogueGreat Choral Synagogue
PositionChief Rabbi of Podil synagogue
OrganisationUnion of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine[2]
ResidenceMonsey, New York

Yaakov Dov Bleich (born October 19, 1964) is an American-born rabbi. He serves as Rabbi of the Kyiv main synagogue in Podil and is Chief Rabbi of Ukraine since 1989. Rabbi Bleich was vice-president of the World Jewish Congress from 2009-2017.[3] Bleich chose not to run for re-election as a member of the WJC Executive Committee at the WJC’s May 2021 plenary assembly.[4]


Rabbi Bleich graduated from Telshe Yeshiva High School in Chicago, Illinois where he began his rabbinical studies. From 1984 to 1986, he studied at the Karlin Stolin Rabbinical Institute in Jerusalem.

In November 2014, Rabbi Bleich strongly criticized Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov for appointing Vadym Troyan, a former Azov Battalion commander, to the post of police chief of the Kyiv Oblast. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Bleich stated that “if the interior minister continues to appoint people of questionable repute and ideologies tainted with fascism and right-wing extremism, the interior minister should be replaced”.[5]

In 2018, Kievan weekly magazine Focus named Rabbi Bleich among the most "powerful people" in the country

In 2019, Rabbi Bleich, together with Sviatoslav Shevchuk (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) and Epiphanius I of Ukraine (Orthodox Church of Ukraine), held a prayer service for members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in the Jewish cemetery of Sambir.[6][7][8]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bleich raised over 5.5 million dollars to "help" Jews in Ukraine.

On February 27, 2022, Bleich told Arutz Sheva: "President Zelensky called me a few hours ago, while waging war, and asked the Jewish people should Pray for Ukraine. 'The Russians have more soldiers than us, but our soldiers have more determination than the Russians. We need your prayers for us to succeed, the Ukrainian president said."[9]

Rabbi Bleich since 1990 has opened the 1st Jewish Day school in Ukraine. Yeshiva. Kollel. Kindergarten. Old age home. Summer camps. Students programs. Jewish orphanage for boyz and girls from around Ukraine. Lady's programs. And many other programs in Kyiv and around Ukraine.

Rabbi Bleich which has from the biggest Jewish Community's in Ukraine is considered by the government as Chief Rabbi of Ukraine since 1990..


  1. ^ a b "Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich". European Jewish Fund. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  2. ^ "Yaakov Dov Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine". vrciro.org.ua. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  3. ^ "World Jewish Congress".
  4. ^ "U.K. Jewish Group Cuts Ties to European Jewish Congress over Claims Against Top Rabbi". Haaretz.
  5. ^ Sokol, Sam (November 12, 2014). "Kiev regional police head accused of neo-Nazi ties". The Jerusalem Post.
  6. ^ https://kresy.pl/wydarzenia/sambor-uroczyste-odsloniecie-krzyza-ku-czci-oun-upa-poswieconego-przez-abpa-szewczuka-z-udzialem-zwierzchnika-ukrainskiej-cerkwi-video-foto/ (in Polish)
  7. ^ In Sambir, abuse was replaced by abuse — a monument to the heroes of the OUN-UPA was opened in the cemetery with the graves of the Jews they killed (in Russian)
  8. ^ https://nk.org.ua/ukraina/palachi-i-jertvyi-vo-lvovskoy-oblasti-osvyatili-pamyatnik-oun-upa-ustanovlennyiy-na-evreyskom-kladbische-202907 (in Russian)
  9. ^ "Ukraine Rabbi: President Zelensky asked us to pray for Ukraine". Israel National News. February 27, 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2022.