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Legionnaires Day in Latvia Draws Protesters

On Saturday, March 16th, over 1000 Latvians honored Nazi-allied World War II soldiers. Violence almost erupted between the Latvian participants and the ethnic Russians, who are a minority in the country. The police used force, dragging some participants away and detaining four, to prevent any tumult. Read the AP article here. March 16th is considered […]

Arson Suspected at Jewish Community Center in Central Russia

(JTA) — A Jewish community center in Perm, a city in central Russia, sustained minor damage in what police suspect was attempted arson with fire bombs. Firefighters in Perm, a municipality located on the banks of the Kama River near the Ural Mountains, put out a small fire inside the center on Saturday, the government-owned […]

Mosque in Azerbaijan Loses 8-Year Religious Freedom Case

–The Becket Fund For Immediate Release Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224 WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, 8 February 2013, the European Court of Human Rights announced its rejection of the Juma Mosque Congregation’s appeal against the government of Azerbaijan. The ruling came more than eight years after the mosque first sought relief from the Court when the mosque’s building […]

Ukrainian Officials Threaten Owner of Jewish International TV Channel

JTA – Vadim Rabinovich, the owner of the Jewish international TV channel JN1, charged that Ukrainian officials are trying to take over the station and have threatened him. The Kyiv Post weekly on Jan. 21 quoted a statement by the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress – an organization headed by Rabinovich – as reading, “A senior official […]

Bar Mitzvah Celebrated 70 Years Later in Ukrainian Town

From Israel National News– By David Lev For the first time since before World War II, the small Jewish community in the Ukrainian town of Netishin held prayer services – and celebrated the Bar-Mitzvah of the grandson of the community’s last rabbi, 70 years after it had been scheduled to take place. The religious revival […]

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 […]

IRF Roundtable Letter on Declining Religious Freedom Conditions in Kazakhstan

UCSJ, along with other members of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, sent a letter to the UN regarding our concern for declining religious freedom conditions in Kazakhstan. Click the above link to view it, or read an excerpt below: Prof. Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Office of the […]

An Oral History of the Rally to Save Soviet Jewry

Tablet Magazine How We Freed Soviet Jewry Twenty-five years ago today, a rally of 250,000 people changed the fate of Jews worldwide. An oral history. By Allison Hoffman Originally published December 6, 2012. (American Jewish Historical Society)   Twenty-five years ago today, an estimated quarter of a million Americans, most of them Jews, flooded the Mall […]