March 15, 2022

Special to Kosher Today: Ukraine Struggles to Preserve Endeavor to Penetrate Kosher Market; Still Baking Matzoh

Dnipro, Ukraine…While many major Ukrainian cities were under attack and thousands of Jews fleeing across the border to Poland, the Matzoh bakery here continued to bake handmade Shmura matzoh for Passover.  In what was previously known as Dnipropetrovsk, the bakery here has been operating for years with most of the Matzoh destined for export.  It is Ukraine's fourth largest city and located in the eastern part of the besieged country, 243 miles southeast of Kyiv on the Dnieper River. While several of the rabbis who supervised the baking have left the country, at least two remain despite the ongoing war. Rabbi Shalom Ber Lepkiver, who is responsible for kosher in the Ukraine on behalf of the OK Kosher Certification, said that the wheat is grown in an ideal warmer climate with the Matzoh being shipped throughout Europe. Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat supplying some 12% of the world’s wheat. He also said that many food manufacturers have opted for kosher certification in recent years as Ukraine sought to take advantage of the growing opportunities for kosher.