Vadim Zinov’evich Rabinovich (sometimes spelled Vadym Rabynovich; born 4 August 1953, Kharkiv, USSR) is a Ukrainian businessman, media mogul, and a philanthropist. He is the president of the Ukrainian Jewish Parliament and Vice President of the European Jewish Union. Rabinovich obtained Israeli citizenship in the early 1990s and has since been residing in Israel. In 2011 he founded the Jewish News One, an international news network.
Rabinovich had a furniture import business, and later exported natural gas from Ukraine. Rabinovich was convicted in Ukraine for a variety of crimes and stripped of Ukrainian citizenship, but left the country and obtained Israeli citizenship. The conviction was later reversed and the Ukrainian citizenship restored. In 1996 Rabinovich was appointed chairman of Israeli-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce. A naturalized Israeli citizen, Rabinovich maintains homes in Ukraine and Israel. Rabinovich had his visa to the United States revoked in 1995 reportedly due to his links with criminal arm dealers.
In 1997 Rabinovich created (and lead) the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress in 1997. He dissolved that organization in April 1999 to create a new one named the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, which promptly elected him its leader.
From 2007-2013, Rabinovich was president of FC Arsenal Kyiv, a professional football club in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The club filed for bankruptcy in October of 2013.
Rabinovich is also well known for his philanthropic activities. He donated a golden menorah that now overlooks the Western Wall Plaza. He also donated over 10 mil NIS towards restoration of the Hurva Synagogue. Many Jewish leaders believe he is trying to buy positive publicity to make up for the negative publicity that his financial and political activities have drawn.
Rabinovich donated funds that helped finance the reconstruction of the old city Hurva Synagogue, which stands in case in the square that was named after him. The reason the square was named after him was because people thought he was dead, and the square was named “Vadim Rabinovich Z”L” (meaning “may his/ her memory be a blessing” in Hebrew) Councilwoman Rachel Azaria made a petitioned Supreme Court of Israel to rescind the naming of the square saying it was under pretense. The high court accepted the petition made by Azaria and revoked the naming of the square after him. By law it is forbidden to name streets and public venues in Jerusalem after living people, and by law it is forbidden to name streets and public venues in the old city of Jerusalem after people that were born after the 15th century.
On 4 March 2013, there was an explosion in Kiev near the office of Rabinovich where his channel Jewish News One was located. It injured nobody but was believed to be a murder attempt; Rabinovich himself suspected All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” of the attack but they denied any involvement.
On 25 March 2014 the Kyiv Post reported that Rabynovych had filed as a self-appointed candidate for the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. This was partly to counter characterization of the new Ukrainian government as anti-Semitic. After submission of the documents for his registration Rabinovich stated “I want to destroy the myth about an anti-Semitic Ukraine, which is spreading around the world. Probably I’m the most fortunate candidate. Today unification is needed, and I’m a unifying candidate. I have no maniacal thirst for power, I just want to help the country”.