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4 synagogues open in former Soviet Union ahead of Rosh Hashanah

September 15, 2017 (JTA) — Ahead of the Jewish New Year, four Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union celebrated the opening of synagogues in an effort to boost cultural and spiritual activities for congregants or commemorate Jewish heritage. Of the synagogues that were opened in recent weeks in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania, the most […]

Firebomb hurled at Russian Jewish group’s Moscow offices

September 13, 2017  (JTA) — A firebombing at the Moscow offices of the largest Jewish organization in Russia caused minimal damage and no injuries. Footage from the incident Monday night at the offices of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia showed a person whose facial features are not clearly visible throwing the firebomb and […]

Firebombs hit studio of Russian-Jewish film director reviled by nationalists

September 1, 2017 Director Alexei Uchitel at the St. Petersburg International Media Forum, Oct. 10, 2014. (Kristina Nikishina/Getty Images for SPIMF) (JTA) – Firebombs were hurled at the studio of a renowned Russian-Jewish film director who is reviled by some nationalists for his controversial depiction of the love affair between Russia’s last czar and a […]

On Birthright, Russians and Ukrainians bond over Jewish identity

ByTamara Zieve August 22, 2017 Of the 3,100 Russian-speaking Birthright participants who visited Israel this summer, 800 were Ukrainian and 1,800 were Russian.   UKRAINIAN JEWISH students, including some from Russian-occupied Crimea, enjoy themselves during a Birthright trip to Israel this week.. (photo credit:Courtesy) As the war in Donbass that began more than three years […]

65 Years Ago, The USSR Murdered Its Greatest Jewish Poets. What’s Left Of Their Legacy?

Talya Zax No one seems to know exactly how many Soviet Jews were secretly executed by the Soviet Union in the basement of Moscow’s Lubyanka Prison on August 12, 1952. A 1970 New York Times report on the fate of Yiddish in the USSR claimed the victims numbered around 30. A 1972 volume commemorating the event, released […]

Russian Supreme Court Rejects Jehovah’s Witnesses Appeal

July 18, 2017 — 09:57  — Update: 10:23 The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, illustrated in the museum of the Russian administrative center of Jehovah’s Witnesses based in the town of Solnechnoye Alexander Demianchuk / TASS Russia’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal to reverse its decision declaring the Jehovah’s Witnesses an “extremist” […]

Soviet Veteran Who Met With Trump Jr. Is a Master of the Dark Arts

MOSCOW — Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016, had one consistent message for the journalists who met him over the years at the luxury hotels where he stayed in Moscow, London and Paris, or at his home on a leafy street in Washington: Never use email […]

Russia’s Navalny, Others Detained As Moscow Anticorruption Demonstration Begins

MOSCOW — Police in Moscow used megaphones to order anticorruption protesters to disperse as several hundred people began marching down Tverskaya Street, a central thoroughfare. There was a heavy police presence throughout the area, and RFE/RL correspondents saw at least five people being detained. Russian media reported that at least 50 people had been detained […]

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 […]

Russian-Jewish filmmakers immortalize murdered Putin critic as ‘Boris Nemtsov, Jew’

Assassinated outside the Kremlin, the dissenting politician has become something of a cult figure and is the subject of films, poetry and song By Julie Masis  April 8, 2017 Two years on, Russia hasn’t forgotten the tragic murder outside the Kremlin of Boris Nemtsov, the Jewish anti-Putin politician. He’s become something of a cult figure […]