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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 […]

New Memorial Complex to Be Built at Babi Yar Massacre Site

The World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews (WFRJ) announced on Sunday that a new memorial complex will be built at Babi Yar, the Ukrainian site in which approximately 50,000 Jews were massacred by Nazis during the Holocaust, The Times of Israel reports.  WRFJ President Alexander Levin presented a model of the memorial, which will include a […]

Putin Hopes Move of Jewish Religious Archives Resolves Dispute

RIA Novosti – Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope on Thursday that moving the disputed collection of Jewish religious texts to the newly built Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow puts the issue to rest. A complex legal dispute over the so-called Schneerson Library has turned into a full-scale diplomatic feud between the United States […]

Limmud FSU Conference Held in Vitebsk, Belarus

From JPost: VITEBSK, Belarus – The latest incarnation of Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) took place for the first time in Belarus over the weekend, one of the most storied countries in Jewish history. Once home to a thriving Jewish community decimated by World War II, Belarus produced nine Israeli presidents, two Nobel Prize laureates […]