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Before Crimea Was an Ethnic Russian Stronghold, It Was a Potential Jewish Homeland

by Jeffrey Veidlinger   “On the way to Sevastopol, not too far from Simferopol,” begins what is probably the most famous Yiddish song from the Soviet Union, “Hey Dzhankoye.” The song, named after a collective farm near the Crimean town of Dzhankoy, celebrates the alleged victories of the Soviet collectivization drive of the 1920s and 1930s, which, […]

We Are All Russian Jews Now

By Zvi Gitelman http://forward.com/articles/186698/we-are-all-russian-jews-now/?p=all In the wake of the Pew Research Center’s findings on American Jews, the Forward’s headlines told a disheartening story: “Boundaries Are Blurring,” “New Study Finds Jews Fleeing Faith Traditions” and “Can You Be Jewish and Believe in Jesus?” But for Jews in Russia and Ukraine, none of this was news. With two […]

Jewish shtetl in Azerbaijan survives amidst Muslim majority

(JTA) — Even at 70, Yedidia Yehuda can negotiate a narrow mountain path in northern Azerbaijan with a confidence easily mistaken for carelessness. “You take care not to fall yourself and don’t worry about me,” he tells a visitor following him toward a small town on the northern bank of the Kudyal river, where 2,000 […]

St. Petersburg Shul to get $300,000 Makeover

(JTA) — Russia’s largest synagogue announced plans for a $300,000 facelift. The Grand Choral Synagogue in St. Petersburg issued a tender Wednesday for interior renovations of the 155-foot tall hall, the Russian news site fontanka.ru reported. The tender states that the works should be completed in 40 to 54 days and should cost about 10 million […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘Children of Refuseniks Report from the Frontlines’ Podcast

Vox Tablet, a weekly podcast, recently published “The Children of Refuseniks Report From the Frontlines of Putin’s Russia: Journalists Masha Gessen, Miriam Elder, and Michael Idov talk about a changing Russia and their place in it.” Contributor Julia Barton speaks to each of them about why they’ve chosen to live and work in the place […]

Report: Estimated Jewish Population in the former Soviet Union (FSU)

Researcher Allan Miller has compiled numbers from reports and news articles over the past several years to determine the estimated current Jewish population throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU).  The breakdown within each country may not equal the total for the country because populations for some cities are missing.   Estimated Present […]

Georgia’s PM Discusses ‘Dream’ for Strategic Alliance with Israel

  From The Jerusalem Post: TBILISI – Nestled high in the forested hills above Georgia’s capital city is a futuristic-looking glass home that looks like it popped right out of a James Bond movie: the redoubt for some mysterious villain aiming to subjugate the world. But it is not. Rather, this is the home and […]