Preparing for Passover in Ukraine’s last shtetl

By Cnaan LiphshizMarch 21, 2017 Bronia Feldman visiting the synagogue of Bershad, Ukraine, March 9, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz) BERSHAD, Ukraine (JTA) — At first glance, this drab town 160 miles south of Kiev seems nearly identical to the settlements that dot the poverty-stricken district of Vinnitsa. Shrouded in a seemingly permanent cloud of smoke from wood fires […]

RUSSIA: Jehovah’s Witness activity largely halted

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 Russia has summarily suspended most Jehovah’s Witness activities. UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai told Forum 18: “The Russian government is claiming that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are an extremist group, but in fact it’s their move to ban them outright that appears to be extreme.” As Jehovah’s Witnesses await a Supreme […]

Ukraine’s leader in the fight against Jew-hate bends Holocaust history

Borys Zakharchuk has been appointed by Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry as its first Special Representative for preventing and combating antisemitism, racism and xenophobia. Babyn Yar Memorial Complex in Kyiv. (Photo by Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Last week, a statue went up in Kiev. Such an occurrence would not normally be worth noting but, in this […]

Lithuania: Take a stick and beat the Jew-thing

Lithuanian city holds end-of-winter festival, sends anti-Semitic invitations. The mayor of a Lithuanian city invited residents to a party in honor of a local holiday – and included anti-Semitism on the invitation. During the holiday, local residents “chase away” the winter, but Jewish residents of the town say the anti-Semitic undertones grow stronger every year, […]

Students and spectators coopted and paid to celebrate annexation of the Crimea

For the students it was a “obligated holiday.” Flyers promised 400 rubles “for three hours of work”, actually to participate in the “Anniversary celebrations.” Several representatives of political parties and nationalist movements have repeated the proposal to make March 18 an official holiday, and – to the glory of the Crimean referendum – a fixed […]

Fan of Nazi collaborator to represent Ukraine at Paris Holocaust symposium

March 6, 2017 (JTA) — Ukrainian Jews protested the attendance at an international symposium on the Holocaust by a state historian who praised a Nazi collaborator whose troops killed Jews. Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, last week condemned the planned attendance of Volodymyr Vyatrovych, director of Ukrainian National Memory Institute, at a conference […]

Rabbi’s expulsion rattles Russian Jews fearful of Kremlin crackdown

Chabad emissary has been deemed a threat to national security, worrying a community that finds itself living in an increasingly authoritarian state By Cnaan Liphshiz February 14, 2017 Rabbis Ari Edelkopf, center, and Berel Lazar, right, listen to a speech at a reception of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia in Sochi, Russia, Feb. […]

Russian lawmaker: Ancestors of Jewish politicians ‘boiled us in cauldrons’

February 13, 2017 Vitaly Milonov at President Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly at the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 1, 2016. (Anatoliy Zhdanov/Kommersant via Getty Images) (JTA) — A Russian lawmaker in President Vladimir Putin’s party said the ancestors of two Jewish opposition politicians had killed Christians. “Christians survived despite the fact that […]

6 Signs There’s No Such Thing as Internet Freedom in Russia

The international human rights group Agora says Russian authorities have declared war on the Internet Feb 10, 2017 — 19:00  — Update: Feb. 10 2017 — 17:12 By Daria Litvinova Writing about Crimea, Ukraine, Syria or religion on social media in Russia has become a dangerous business. Saying — or typing — the wrong thing […]