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Exploring the Jewish heartland of eastern Europe

Ukraine is where Jewish past and present merge in a kaleidoscope of feeling, sight and impression. A MOTORBOAT passes under a footbridge over the Dnieper River in Kiev, Ukraine.. (photo credit:REUTERS) Uman is on the bucket list of many people, and not only Breslov Hassidim. By the tens of thousands, from all points of the […]

Jitters In Ukraine As Politically Charged Religious Processions Approach Kyiv

KYIV — Two religious processions converging on Kyiv have Ukrainian authorities warning that provocations could spark violence in the capital. The All-Ukrainian Procession of the Cross for Peace, Love and Prayer for Ukraine includes thousands of believers from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate — an affiliate of the Russian Orthodox Church and […]

Ukraine Jews Come ‘Home’ Helped By Israel & IFCJ

A new group of 235 immigrants from Ukraine landed this week at Ben Gurion Internation Airport. Many of them arrived still badly traumatized from their experiences over the past two years in war-torn areas of the former Soviet satellite. Many have been homeless, wandering from town to town, ducking bullets and praying for safety. More […]

How Elie Wiesel inspired the Free Soviet Jewry movement

By Glenn Richter         (JTA) — On my bookshelves there are two rows of volumes on the Soviet Jewry movement. Squeezed in among the tomes is a small, well-worn paperback with pages no longer attached to the spine, “The Jews of Silence” by Elie Wiesel. This slim volume is, however, a bridge. It crossed him and […]

Tunnel used by Jews in Lithuania to escape Nazis uncovered

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A tunnel in Lithuania used by Jewish prisoners to escape the Nazis has been uncovered by an international research team near Vilnius. The Israel Antiquities Authority in a statement Wednesday announced the discovery of the 100-foot-long tunnel at the Ponar Forest massacre site. Ponar prisoners used the tunnel, which was located with […]

Ukraine city names street for Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson

The city of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine named a street after Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the last and most prominent Lubavitcher rebbe, who fled the city after Communist agents arrested his father there in the 1930s. Menachem Mendel Schneerson Street was unveiled in Dnepropetrovsk Sunday by its chief rabbi, Shmuel Kaminezki, who is one of the Chabad movement’s most senior […]

Lithuania lifts major obstruction to citizenship applications by Jews

(JTA) — Lithuania’s parliament passed legislation that is expected to simplify the naturalization of Litvak Jews abroad and their descendants. Under amendments passed Thursday by the Seimas in Vilnius, Lithuanians who left before 1990 and their direct descendants may be naturalized without renouncing their other nationalities. The legislation passed with 96 its 141 lawmakers voting […]

Lithuanian mayor dismantles building made from Jewish headstones

The municipality of Vilnius in Lithuania began dismantling a Soviet-era structure made from Jewish headstones. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius removed the first stone from the structure housing an electricity and heating generator on Olandų Street Wednesday, the mayor‘s office said in a statement. The generator was built by the Soviet authorities of Lithuania between 1965-1968, when it […]

Moldova synagogue attacked in shocking pogrom

Moldova synagogue attacked in shocking pogrom Torah scroll thrown to the ground, menorahs ripped off walls and stolen by attackers who remain at large. By Chaim Lev  3/2/2016 Torah scroll (illustration) Hadas Parush/Flash 90 Members of the synagogue in the city of Orgiev, in Moldova, were shocked on Wednesday morning to find their Torah scroll […]

WORKING GROUP FOR COMBATING SECTARIANISM TO BE CREATED IN STATE DUMA

Russian parliament preparing restrictions on new religious groups WORKING GROUP FOR COMBATING SECTARIANISM TO BE CREATED IN STATE DUMA RIA Novosti, 25 February 2016 Deputies of the State Duma on Thursday at a session of the interfractional deputies’ Group for Protection of Christian Values made a decision to create a working group for combating sectarianism […]