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Estonian Jewry celebrates revival 75 years after Nazis declared it extinct

May 26, 2017 (JTA) — Seventy-five years after the Nazis declared that Estonia was “Jew free,” the Baltic country’s president celebrated the return of Jewish life there at an event attended by Israeli politicians and rabbis. President Kersti Kaljulaid received the guests, including Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, David Lau, at a ceremony Thursday in Tallinn, […]

Russian court orders a 2nd Chabad rabbi deported this year

May 19, 2017 (JTA) — For the second time this year, Russian authorities have ordered out of the country a foreign Chabad rabbi who had lived there for years. This week, a Moscow district court ordered Yosef Khersonsky, an Israeli who heads one of the capital’s communities, to leave the Russian Federation in connection with […]

Swastikas painted on synagogue, rabbi’s headstone smashed in Ukraine

May 19, 2017 (JTA) — Two swastikas were painted on the front door of a synagogue in western Ukraine and, in a separate incident, the headstone of a prominent rabbi’s grave was smashed. The incident involving the swastikas was discovered last week in Chernivtsi, a city located some 250 miles southwest of Kiev, according to […]

Ukraine’s Jews walk narrow line between murderous past and uncertain future

As Ukrainian PM Volodymyr Groysman winds up a three-day visit to Israel, Jews back home try to cope with economic difficulties and the effects of war BY SUE SURKES May 17, 2017 Children at Tikva’s kindergarten preparing materials for the Jewish festival of Lag B‘Omer, Odessa, Ukraine, May 12, 2017. (Photo Sue Surkes ODESSA, Ukraine — At […]

Ukrainian general calls for destruction of Jews

“I’m telling you one more time – go to hell, kikes”, wrote senior officer affiliated to the intelligence services In the latest of a series of highly public antisemitic statements by prominent figures in Ukraine, a retired Ukrainian general affiliated with the country’s intelligence services this week called for the destruction of his country’s Jewish […]

In a Ukraine forest, terrible events of 75 years ago given resonance by handful of survivors

On VE day, Jews and Christians gather near Uman to unveil a monument to 1,000 Jewish children murdered by the Nazis By Sue Surkes May 9, 2017 Ukrainian schoolchildren recite poetry at the unveiling of a memorial to 1,000 Jewish children massacred by the Nazis in a forest in Uman in 1942. May 8, 2017. […]

Ukraine Report

 For those of you who still don’t know, our colleague Judy Patkin is an amazing person.  Involved for 40+ years, she transitioned her Boston Action for Soviet Jewry office from advocacy for refuseniks and Prisoners for Zion to assisting needy Jews in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.  Henry Gerber and I have the privilege of visiting […]

Omaha woman who helped resettle persecuted Soviet Jews dies at 94

Shirley Goldstein kept red licorice near the door for visitors. She decorated statues outside her home for the holidays, and called each of her grandchildren “Cookie.” And throughout the 1970s and ’80s, she thumbed her nose at the Soviet Union, smuggling contraband across its borders and helping to resettle Soviet Jews who weren’t allowed to […]

Holocaust cabaret in Kiev theater outrages Ukrainian Jews

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, a display sign was hung in front of a theater in the capital of Ukraine, in anticipation of a new play telling the story of John Demjanjuk, who was convicted of helping to murder Jews in Sobibor; following the harsh criticism, the theater’s managers removed the sign. Itamar Eichner April 25, […]

Holocaust memorial vandalized in western Ukraine

March 27, 2017 (JTA) — Nazi symbols were spray-painted on a monument to Holocaust victims in Ukraine that was erected near their mass graves. The letter X was painted on the Star of David emblazoned on the monument near the western city of Ternopil. A swastika was drawn on the Hebrew-language section of the monument […]