Correspondent: You are an expert in the field of Jewish Studies. How do you assess the state of affairs in Europe with this branch of scientific knowledge?

O.K .: Today, Jewish Studies in Europe are not experiencing the best times. Many specialists are moving to America, other regions of the world, few new departments or programs are opening in universities, funding for seminars and conferences is decreasing. In my opinion, this is wrong. After all, the situation with anti-Semitism in the EU is directly related to the information about Jewish history and culture that society receives. Therefore, the state of affairs with anti-Semitism in Europe is directly related to the development of Jewish Studies.

Correspondent: The European Commission has approved a program to combat anti-Semitism and promote Jewish life in Europe. How do you assess it?

O.K .: I assess this program positively. Currently, it is the best program of its kind in the world, and it is no coincidence that a similar program is being developed in the United States, for which experts in this field are visiting Brussels, Berlin, and other European capitals. So far, 27 EU countries are adapting this program to their national peculiarities, so the work has just begun. I think that we will see real results in this field in the next 3-4 years.

Correspondent: Currently, there is a war going on in Ukraine, and obviously, there is little room for scientific development. Nevertheless, what can you say about the study of Jewish history and culture in Ukraine?

O.K.: Despite the war, science in Ukraine is developing, and the main scientific centers for the study of Judaism are functioning, including the team at the I.F. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The field of Jewish studies was dynamically developing before the war, and academic freedom and youth interest were the key to a bright future for this scientific field. Currently, the country is at war, and many scientists have gone to the front lines. However, in the near future, I hope that peace will come, and scientific life in the country will be restored.

Correspondent: In your opinion, how can the situation in the field of Jewish Studies in the EU be improved?

O.K.: It's quite simple. Today, certain steps are being taken to combat anti-Semitism within the Erasmus+ program, but they involve the activity of youth organizations and schoolchildren in the field of Holocaust memory preservation. I think that part of the funding could be directed towards the academic environment and open Jewish Studies departments in at least a few European universities.

Correspondent: How do you assess the prospects for combating anti-Semitism in Europe and the US? After all, this phenomenon has deep historical roots.

O.K.: Whatever roots it may have, this fight must be waged. Today, we have positive trends in the form of the EU Anti-racism Action Plan for 2020-2025 and the EU Strategy for combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life for 2021-2030.  Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is gaining momentum in the US, and the authorities of this country are increasingly turning to the positive experience of European government bodies. There have already been several visits by high-ranking American officials, and the White House appears to be preparing legislation on anti-Semitism and the development of Jewish life, similar to that adopted in the EU.

Correspondent: However, according to the World Jewish Congress, presented during its delegation's visit to Spain, a report was presented that the Jews of Europe are evaluating these Brussels policy documents without enthusiasm.

O.K.: I respect the opinion of this organization, however, measures to combat anti-Semitism and develop Jewish life are only being developed. I think it's worth waiting for at least the first results of the work of the governments of the 27 EU countries to understand whether Brussels' efforts have been in vain or not.

Correspondent: Thank you very much for the interview!

O.K.: Thank you.