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Review of new book on Soviet Jewry movement, “Let My People Go”

         It’s easier to say what “Let My People Go” is not than exactly what it is.  It’s not a page-turning narrative of the Soviet Jewry movement from both within the USSR and in the West, such as Gal Beckerman’s “When They Come For US We’ll Be Gone” or Phil Spiegel’s “Triumph Over […]


Nika Vashakidze’s film about refuseniks offers a new perspective on the complexity of Jewish life in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. ‘Alyad’ premieres in New York on Wednesday. By Hannah Vaitsblit December 8, 2015 It’s been almost 24 years since the fall of the Soviet Union. It seems to me that most young people do […]

Mission Accomplished

Notwithstanding the old adage that behind every great man there stands a great woman, too many great men forget to acknowledge the women who walked with them in the wilderness and who shared the struggle in the days before the glory. Not so Isi Leibler, a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, […]

Anti-Zionist Book Launches Hate Campaign in the Soviet Union

September 21, 1977 NEW YORK (Sep. 20) A new assault on Zionism by a Soviet “expert” has set off a recent wave of vociferous anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist attacks in the Soviet press and news media, it was reported by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. The basis for this was the recent publication […]

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, […]

‘I know tomorrow will be my last day’: Uncovering Soviet Jewry’s Holocaust experience

by Smadar Shir For years the Soviet Jewry’s Holocaust was a forbidden secret. Now, through letters found in archives, Yad Vashem is working to make the voices silenced behind the Iron Curtain heard   “To my dear brother, our city Priluki was taken over quite suddenly and very quickly by the German occupiers. My brother […]

Flashback to 1970 Leningrad Trial

Widespread Demonstrations in Israel Protesting Leningrad Trial and New Trials December 22, 1970 JERUSALEM (Dec. 21) JTA Israel was still seething with protest today over the Leningrad trial and new trials of Jews expected to start soon in the Soviet Union. Demonstrations were held on university campuses in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The trial […]

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 […]