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 […]

Ukrainian government returns Torahs confiscated by Communists

“This is a real miracle of Hanukka,” says Brodsky Choral Synagogue’s Rabbi Moshe Azman. UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS return the Torah scrolls to the Brodsky Choral Synagogue in Kiev on Thursday.. (photo credit:ROMAN VILENSKI) They came dancing into the Brodsky Choral Synagogue, a giant Romanesque building in downtown Kiev, tallit-covered Torah scrolls in their arms. Some 80 […]

In Azerbaijan, Muslims and Jews Are Allies

JNS.org – No country in Eurasia has closer or warmer ties with Israel than Azerbaijan. The relationship between the two countries is particularly surprising because Azerbaijan is a majority-Muslim country. But the reasons for this close relationship lie in the longstanding friendship between Azerbaijanis and Jews living in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, a predominantly Shi’a Muslim country, is also […]

Lithuanian Jewish museum opens center to fight anti-Semitism

December 11, 2015 (JTA) – Lithuania’s largest Jewish museum opened a center dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and preserving Litvak Jewish identity domestically and abroad. The Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum opened its Centre of Litvak Culture and Art last week, the Baltic News Service reported. Funded by the Lithuanian government and set up with input from Polish experts on […]

NEW DOCUMENTARY ‘ALYAD’ DEPICTS JEWISH LIFE IN THE SOVIET UNION

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 […]

Ukrainians erect monument to ‘national heroes’ who killed Uman’s Jews in 18th century

Residents of Uman earlier this month unveiled the statue to Ivan Gonta and Maxim Zheleznyakov, who carried out a pogrom, which killed between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons) Ukrainian Jews are outraged over the erection of a monument to the perpetrators of an eighteenth century massacre that killed thousands of their […]

Why Tajikistan’s Last Jews Are Staying Put Despite Waves of Change

The secret synagogue of Tajikistan is not hard to find once you know where to look. Like much in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s small and humdrum capital, the building is on a street whose name no one uses and where few strangers venture. From the outside it could be just another upscale house with a lush courtyard, […]

Weekly Update No. 42

Rights in Russia: Week-ending 13 November 2015 [see also as attachment] Comment  Sergei Nikitin: “There’s clearly an attempt to find enemies where there are none” (Voice of America)  Person of the Week  Person of the Week: Magomed Mutsolgov Rights Group of the Week  Rights Group of the Week: Memorial Human Rights Centre HRO.org in English  Statement […]

Revisiting Rabin’s ancestral home in Ukraine – 20 years after the assassination

Limmud FSU founder located the birthplace of late prime minister’s father, even though the Rabin family thought it impossible. A memorial tablet carrying the bronze image of Nechemia Rabin flanked by his two children, Yitzhak and Rachel. (photo credit:Courtesy) SYDOROVYCHI, Ukraine – Four days ago, on November 4, exactly on the 20th anniversary of the […]