U.S. commerce secretary visits her Jewish roots in Ukraine

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited the Ukrainian village where her Jewish ancestors lived in the 19th century.

Marina Poroshenko, the wife of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, accompanied Pritzker on her visit Tuesday to Bolshi Prytsky, 55 miles southeast of Kiev, the news agency Regnum reported.

During her working visit to Ukraine, Pritzker also visited a Jewish school in the town of Belaya Tserkov, located 43 miles west of Bolshi Prytsky, according to the report, which was based on information given to Regnum by Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

“The students’ thirst for knowledge and optimism about the future was inspiring,” Pritzker said about the visit to the school.


On Monday, Pritzker said during a news conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev that the United States will honor its commitment to consider providing a third $1 billion loan guarantee in late 2015, “if conditions warrant.”

The U.S. loan guarantee, she said, “will be conditioned on Ukraine’s progress on implementing its economic reform program, including of course adherence to the International Monetary Fund’s program and concrete forward momentum in the ongoing fight against corruption.”

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