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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 […]

Lithuanian troops train at former concentration camp where 5,000 Jews are buried

By Cnaan Liphshiz August 31, 2017 A film crew preparing to record at the former concentration camp known as the Seventh Fort in Kaunas, Lithuania, on July 12, 2016. (JTA/Cnaan Liphshiz) (JTA) — Lithuanian soldiers pitched tents on the grounds of a former concentration camp for Jews in Kaunas, where they are training to fight Russian […]

Soviet-Era Program Gives Even Unoppressed Immigrants an Edge

By MIRIAM JORDAN AUG. 26, 2017 From left, the brothers Pavlo, Ivor, Davyd and Peter Davydyuk packing up materials and props for a church camp where they are counselors in Vancouver, Wash. The Davydyuk family arrived from Ukraine in May. Credit Leah Nash for The New York Times VANCOUVER, Wash. — Growing up in the 1970s and ’80s […]

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 […]

Antisemitic graffiti targets WZO in Ukraine

ByTamara Zieve July 30, 2017 A monument to Holocaust victims was vandalized with slogans and symbols.   Graffiti targeting the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in north-Western Ukraine.. (photo credit:VLADIMIR MOZICHENKO) Vandals in northwestern Ukraine sprayed Nazi symbols and other antisemitic graffiti that targeted the World Zionist Organization, the organization learned on Sunday. According to the […]

In Moldova, a synagogue with a terrible history is for sale on Holocaust Street

Only 17 out of 7,000 Jews remain in Edinets since WWII. Now, a defunct house of worship where 90 penitents were massacred is on the market By Julie Masis July 20, 2017 EDINETS, Moldova — In a small town in northern Moldova, a former synagogue is for sale on Holocaust Street. The building, where some 90 […]

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” […]

With no Jews left to protest, Christian crosses grace Holocaust memorials in Belarus

In addition to problems with Jewish law, where some in the scant Jewish community see a positive gesture, others see cultural insensitivity By Julie Masis  July 9, 2017 PETRIKOV, Belarus — A few years ago, a monument to the local residents who perished during the Nazi occupation was built in the central park of the small […]

How a female Jewish journalist alerted the world to Ukraine’s silent starvation

by Julie Masis 6/18/17 Clockwise, from left: Rhea Clyman’s photo in the 1933 Toronto Telegram; a ‘Red Train’ of carts taking first harvest of produce to Soviet government warehouses; starving children affected by the famine. (All photos public domain) While driving through the Ukrainian countryside in 1932, Rhea Clyman, a Jewish-Canadian journalist, stopped in a […]