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Moldovan Jewish Community Denied Right to Install Hanukkah Menorah in Capital

The JC– On the wall of an inconspicuous building in a side street in Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, a plaque reads: “Glaziers synagogue — middle of the 19th century.” This is the only remaining working synagogue in a city which boasted 77 synagogues before 1940. Chief Rabbi Zalman Abelsky, […]

Remembering the Refusenik Movement

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN (CNN) — Driven by desperation, Marina and Lev Furman stepped out of their home in Leningrad and took a 20-minute walk into uncertainty. Trailed by KGB agents, they bundled up and set out in the weak winter light for Palace Square, site of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. They brought signs demanding freedom. And […]

Honoring Vladimir Bukovsky: A Champion of Human Rights

December 30, 2012 marked the 70th birthday of Vladimir Bukovsky – one of the most prominent pioneers of the Movement for Human Rights. Vladimir started his civil service back at school. It is difficult to overestimate the role of this man who underwent the man-made hell of special psychiatric institutions, years of prisons and concentration camps and deportation […]

Mila Kunis Targeted by Anti-Semitic Ukrainian Lawmaker

Ukrainian MP Igor Miroshnichenko stirred controversy last month by posting an anti-Semitic comment on Facebook regarding Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis. Miroshnichenko stated, “She is not Ukrainian, she is a Jewess by birth,” using the term “zhydovka” which roughly translates to “dirty Jewess,” instead of the accepted word “ievreïska.” He added, “She is proud of this and […]

Limmud FSU Conference Fosters Jewish Culture

Jerusalem Post– By Daniel K. Eisenbud The Limmud FSU Conference in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod may very well be the intellectual Jewish Woodstock of the former Soviet Union. Attracting over 600 Jews from all walks of life across the country, as well as from surrounding nations, it is a four-day meeting of the […]

Book Traces Legal Roots of Hungarian Anti-Semitism

From Central European University– Maria M. Kovacs’ new book is unexpectedly timely. The book, which traces the legal roots of Hungarian anti-Semitism back to quotas imposed in 1920, long before the rise of Nazi Germany, was published on the same day as a Hungarian member of Parliament called for Jewish MPs to be counted. “When […]

A Moscow Response: “Let U.S. Parents Save Russian Orphans”

From The Moscow Times — 18 December 2012 | Issue 5038 By Yulia Latynina In retribution for the recent passage of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress, United Russia has introduced an initiative to prohibit U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. Modern Russia not only has more orphans than any other country — 678,000 — but even more than the Soviet Union had during […]

Saturday’s Demonstration in Moscow Shows Opposition’s Determination

Last Saturday, December 15th, Russian leaders of the political opposition took part in an unsanctioned demonstration. This protest, which took place in Lubyanka Square near a monument to victims of Soviet political repression, was an act of defiance against a law signed by President Putin in June that fines participants $9,000 and organizations $18,000 for […]

Obama Signs Magnitsky Bill Into Law

Read the UCSJ President’s Message Regarding UCSJ’s work with this bill here. Dec 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a bill that modernizes U.S. trade relations with Russia by ending a Cold War-era provision, but also punishes Russian human rights violators. Russia has objected strongly to the human rights component […]