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 […]

Ukrainian Jewish leaders blame Russia for anti-Semitic ‘provocations’

by Sam Sokol An attack on a Ukrainian rabbi over the weekend was a provocation, intended as a “justification for the continuation of Russian aggression” in Crimea, one Ukrainian Jewish leader asserted on Saturday. Such violence serves to “discredit the new government of Ukraine,” Josef Zissels, chairman of the Vaad of Ukraine and a vice president of […]

Ukraine crisis: Moscow rally opposes Crimea intervention

Holding Russian and Ukrainian flags, they shouted: “The occupation of Crimea is Russia’s disgrace.” A smaller pro-Moscow rally was being held elsewhere. Moscow supports the vote, which Ukraine and the West have dismissed as illegal. Kiev says Russian “provocateurs” are behind clashes in eastern Ukraine. Three people have died in pro- and anti-Moscow rallies in […]

RUSSIA: Two fines, two more sentences imminent, court-ordered book destructions

Two readers of Islamic theologian Said Nursi have been fined in Tatarstan for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief, with sentences on a further two expected on 19 March, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Although a similar criminal case in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has been abandoned, a criminal investigation […]

Ukrainian Catholics fear ‘new oppression’ after Russian takeover

By Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service OXFORD, England (CNS) — A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent. Father Mykhailo Milchakovskyi, a pastor in Kerch, Ukraine, described the atmosphere as tense because […]

Kiev rabbi assaulted in suspected anti-Semitic attack

Two unidentified men assaulted a rabbi in Kiev on Thursday in a suspected anti-Semitic attack. The men assaulted Rabbi Hillel Cohen, who runs the Ukrainian branch of the Hatzalah emergency services organization, on the street, his wife, Racheli Cohen, told JTA. “They struck him in the leg, shouting anti-Semitic slurs, calling him a ‘zyhd,’ she […]

Latvian minister to be fired for endorsing SS vets

(JTA) — Latvia’s prime minister said she would fire a Cabinet minister planning to march with local SS veterans. Einars Cilinskis, Latvia’s minister for environment and regional development, said he would attend Sunday’s rally in Riga, Reuters reported Friday. “Taking into account that the minister has said today he would join the march and would […]

Christian donors to give more than $1M in crisis aid to Ukraine Jews

(JTA) — A charity organization funded by Christians has pledged over $1 million in emergency funding for Ukrainian Jews. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, made the announcement about the extra funding for Ukraine during a trip he concluded on Thursday to the Eastern European nation. “We’re pledging $10 […]

Khodorkovsky tells Russians and Ukrainians to talk

by Vladimir Rozanskij Moscow (AsiaNews) – As a relative calm prevails in Ukraine after the epic revolution in Maidan (Independence) Square and Russia’s clumsy showdown in the Crimea, the most interesting event was undoubtedly the ‘Mikhail Khodorkovsky show,’ as Russian media dubbed it, in Kyiv last week. The former oligarch and oil magnate, now also […]