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Jews in Russia balance Jewish culture and Russia’s place in the world

MOSCOW – More than 1,000, mostly young, Russian Jews gathered over the weekend at the Limmud FSU Moscow conference to listen to around 160 sessions highlighting Jewish culture, business and history. The energetic and talkative crowds had come from Moscow and the surrounding area, with a few flying from as far away as Australia and […]

Back from the dead: a Ukrainian model for world Jewry

Dnepropetrovsk’s 600,000 sq ft Menorah Centre, approached by night, looks for all the world like the lurid, self-aggrandising dream of an eastern oligarch. Rising out of largely neglected city streets, it is, literally, a vast menorah, with the glass outhouses that crown each of its seven towers illuminated each day of the week to represent […]

Meylakh Sheykhet – A fight for the Jewish heritage in Lviv

Meylakh Sheykhet is the person that cannot be ignored in Lviv concerning the Jewish life. As the representative of the Union of Councils for the Jews of the Former Soviet Union in Ukraine, he acts to the promotion of the democracy in the country. His action stretches on various fields as the defense of the […]

Purim 1953: Jews in the Communist empire

by Yosef Begun, Larry Pfeffer Jews in the Former Soviet Union are generally well aware that the Russian-dominated part of the Communist empire was getting increasingly anti-Semitic after 1948, when it became clear Israel would not turn “red.” What might have been had Stalin stayed in power? Yosef Begun’s memories from Moscow  Two years after […]

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 […]