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UCSJ: “Building up Tolerance”

The project “Building up Tolerance: A Grassroots Approach to Strengthening the U.S.-Russian Dialogue By Fostering the Relationship Between American and Russian NGOs” has been designed by peer organizations from the USA and Russia, Union of Councils for Jews form the Former Soviet Union (UCSJ)[1] and Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG)[2]. Both share a long history of […]

UCSJ President Lawrence Lerner featured by Woman Around Town

Lawrence I. Lerner, A Jewish Activist Supporting Human Rights in Eurasia and Beyond Thursday, October 10th, 2013 by Marina P. Kennedy on Living Around Larry Lerner has never been one to avoid conflicts. In fact, two themes have run through his life and career as an attorney. As he built a preeminent intellectual property firm in New Jersey, […]

Pilgrims leave Uman amid reports of heavy damage to property

(JTA) — Thousands of Jewish pilgrims are leaving Ukraine, where their weeklong stay in Uman resulted in a fire, power shortages, a sewage flood and several arrests. In one incident, three Israeli police officers who were sent to Uman to help police the estimated 26,000 Jewish pilgrims who congregate every year ahead of the Jewish New […]

Largest Jewish Community Center to Open in Siberia

JTA - An open-air concert by Israeli musicians will be featured at the opening ceremony of what is being called the largest Jewish community center in Siberia, Russia. Hundreds are expected to attend Wednesday’s opening in Novosibirsk of the Beit Machem Center. According to Rabbi Zalman Zaklas, the city’s chief rabbi and emissary for the Chabad-Lubavitch […]

The Extremism and Xenophobia of Ukraine’s Svoboda (Freedom) Party

by Leonid Stonov, International Director August 2013 More than half a year has passed since the nationalist, right-wing, extremist party “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) became one of the main Ukrainian parties that crossed the parliamentary barrier and had a representative in a high position – vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament). What has happened to Ukraine? […]

Cross Defaced Opposite Grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine

(JTA) — A cross near the gravesite of a Jewish sage in Uman, Ukraine, was defaced with a Hebrew inscription. Hebrew graffiti was discovered Aug. 12 on a cross opposite the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the 18th century founder of the Breslov hasidic movement, the Ukrainian news site allday.in.ua reported “To exact vengeance on the […]

Russian Human Rights Council Reviewing Jewish Teacher’s Sentence

Ilya Farber, a Jewish schoolteacher, recently was sentenced to seven years in labor camp and fined a large sum after being convicted of corruption. Many believe his trial was unfair and that he was persecuted for his Jewish background. The prosecutor in Farber’s initial trial said to the jury “Is it possible for a person […]

Rabbi Shot In Russia Discharged from Israeli Hospital

JTA reports that shot Chabad rabbi has been released from Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tivkah after having surgery to repair his liver. Rabbi Artur Ovadia Isakov, 40, was shot on July 24th while heading home in Derbent. Authorities believe it was an antisemitic attack by Muslim extremists. Isakov intends to return to Derbent as […]

Shot Dagestan Rabbi in Stable Condition

The Times of Israel has reported that Ovadia Isakov, a Chabad rabbi, was in serious but stable condition after being shot by a suspected terrorist in Russia on Thursday. Isakov is the chief rabbi of Derbent, in the Republic of Dagestan. Russia’s Investigative Committee stated that Isakov’s overt Jewish identity “is among the possible motives investigators are […]

Belarus: Activist Aliaksei Shchadrou Facing Jail for Helping the Homeless

Aliaksei Shchadrou is facing a two-year prison term in Belarus for acting on behalf of an unregistered religious organization. If jailed he will be a prisoner of conscience. Aliaksei Shchadrou, a 28-year-old devout Catholic, had been running a shelter for homeless people, with a prayer room, in his detached house in a village in the […]