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Without Notice, Putin Dissolves a News Agency

By  Steven Lee Myers, New York Times   MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin exerted new control over Russia’s state news media on Monday, dissolving by decree one of Russia’s official news agencies, RIA Novosti, along with its international radio broadcaster as he continues a drive to strengthen the Kremlin’s influence at home and abroad. […]

Ukraine announces plans for Jewish tourist routes

(JTA) — Ukrainian authorities announced plans to improve travel to Jewish pilgrimage sites. “The route will include about 10 places of worship in the Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Poltava and Khmelnitsky regions,” the cabinet of the governor of the Cherkasy region, Sergei Tulub, said in a statement last month to daily Vesti. Ukraine has hundreds of graves […]

Ukrainian Jewish leader: Protests put community ‘on high alert’

(JTA) — Widespread protests in Ukraine have prompted the country’s Jewish communities to up security arrangements, a community leader from Kiev has said. “Now that streets across Ukraine are full of civilians, the community’s safety is becoming our primary concern,” Oleksandr Feldman, a Ukrainian lawmaker and president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote in statement […]

Subbotnik Jews make aliyah

Their forefathers, who were Christian peasants, embraced Judaism some 200 years ago, and they have stuck to it to this very day. Now, two of 500 members of Subbotnik community from village of Vysoky in southern Russia decide to immigrate to Promised Land. Ariel and Moriah Shishlenikov, residents of the southern Russian village of Vysoky, […]

The Only Jewish Kid in His Moscow Class

http://forward.com/articles/188369/the-only-jewish-kid-in-his-moscow-class/   Once, during a literature lesson in sixth or seventh grade, in around 1981, a note was passed to me from the back of the classroom. It was a sheet of paper ripped from a composition book. “To the Jew from the Russians” (“evreiu ot russkikh”) was scribbled in Russian on the front of […]

Shrugging off assassination attempt and critics, Vadim Rabinovich claims mantle of Jewish leader

KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — The explosion that ripped through Vadim Rabinovich’s luxury SUV in central Kiev was strong enough to send a shock wave from the parking lot up to his third-floor office in the heart of the Ukrainian capital. “It was a shock for a day or two,” Rabinovich said, “and then I moved […]

Lithuanian Jews to get compensation for Holocaust, Soviet occupation

(JTA) — Government officials in Lithuania said they would offer symbolic reparations to nearly 1,800 Jewish Holocaust survivors. The officials told the Baltic News Agency on Wednesday that each survivor will receive a payment of $622 this year. The compensation was also for “suffering during the Soviet occupation,” according to the announcement. Lithuanian governments have […]

We Are All Russian Jews Now

By Zvi Gitelman http://forward.com/articles/186698/we-are-all-russian-jews-now/?p=all In the wake of the Pew Research Center’s findings on American Jews, the Forward’s headlines told a disheartening story: “Boundaries Are Blurring,” “New Study Finds Jews Fleeing Faith Traditions” and “Can You Be Jewish and Believe in Jesus?” But for Jews in Russia and Ukraine, none of this was news. With two […]

Pig’s head found at Ukraine synagogue under construction

(JTA) — A pig’s head was left on the doorstep of a synagogue being built in Sevastopol, the Ukrainian city’s Jewish community said. Amid intensifying opposition to the synagogue’s construction, the news site zarusskiy.org reported Wednesday that the head was discovered Monday by members of the Jewish community. The Chabad movement began building last year […]

Russian priest suspended over anti-Semitic pejorative

(JTA) — Russian church officials suspended a priest for using an anti-Semitic pejorative while baptizing a girl. The two-month ban on Andrey Evstigneeva was announced earlier this month on the website of the Diocese of Saratov, a city 450 miles southeast of Moscow. It followed complaints by the family and the Russian Jewish Congress, the […]