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Huddling by fire, Jews in rebel-held Ukraine keep synagogue alive

LUGANSK, Ukraine (JTA) — In an unheated synagogue with no running water, a dozen Jews are trying to keep warm as temperatures here veer toward the single digits. Not moving too much helps keep the warmth under their thick coats, they say, a technique developed as the group gathered at least once a week to […]

Ukraine’s Jews praise easing of Israeli immigration policy

Jewish community leaders from eastern Ukraine on Thursday praised Israel’s decision to ease immigration requirements for refugees fleeing their country’s ongoing civil war, painting the move as a much needed humanitarian gesture. Last week, the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Borders Authority issued an internal directive relaxing rules requiring certain documents from prospective immigrants from […]

Anti-Semitism in Armenia: a clear and present danger

By Arye Gut/JNS.org The conflict in Syria has forced millions to leave their homes, among them many of the country’s Armenian minority. Many have fled and returned to Armenia, a safe haven for ethnic Armenians—much as Israel is for Jews around the world. So it is ironic, given this shared need for a homeland free […]

Discrimination, Disappearances and Exile of Leaders – The Desperate Situation of the Crimean Tatars since Russia’s Illegal Annexation of Crimea

In March 2014, Russia illegally took control over Crimea and annexed it to its territory after a heavily criticized referendum. Since then, the situation of the Crimean Tatars, the indigenous population of the peninsula who had already suffered a full-scale deportation under the Soviet Union in the 1940s, significantly worsened. They face serious and systemic […]

Russia: Human Rights Climate Unrecognizable from a Decade Ago

(Moscow) – Dramatic deterioration in the past decade has made Russia’s human rights landscape virtually unrecognizable, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said at a news conference in Moscow today. Roth is on his first visit to the country since May 2005.  “Starting in the early 2000s, many in Russia have been wary about […]

RUSSIA: Bans on more literature, website and video

Russian courts have banned more Muslim literature and a video on the ownership of Orthodox saints’ relics as “extremist”, Forum 18 News Service notes. They have also banned a US-based Russian language website with the text of a hadith collection held by Sunni Muslims to be the most important Islamic book after the Koran. Ravil […]

Choice of Jew as Ukrainian parliament speaker won’t have direct impact on community

“I think that it is just another proof that Ukraine is a normal multi-cultural society,” Ukrainian chief rabbi tells the Post. A vote by Ukraine’s parliament to confirm a Jew as speaker will not have a large direct impact on Ukrainian Jewry, sources within Kiev’s local community told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. Volodymyr Groysman, […]

Russia’s Extremism Law Violates Human Rights

By Katrina Lantos Swett, Robert P. George Nov. 26 2014 20:25 Last edited 20:26 Last Friday, a video deemed offensive to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was ruled “extremist” by a city court in Vladimir. While Alexander Soldatov — chief editor of Credo.ru, the website that posted the offending video — now […]

More Than 1 Million People in Russia Live as Slaves, Study Finds

An Australian-based human rights group has estimated 1.05 million people in Russia live as slaves. The Walk Free Foundation, an Australian-based human rights group, estimated in its inaugural slavery index last year that 29.8 million people worldwide were born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, trapped in debt bondage or exploited for forced labor. Releasing its second annual index, Walk Free increased its estimate […]

Russian rabbi slams demand that Jews condemn Ukrainian oligarch

(JTA) — A senior Russian rabbi accused the country’s Communist Party of “vulgar and primitive anti-Semitism” after it demanded that Russian Jews condemn a Ukrainian Jewish oligarch. Rabbi Boruch Gorin, a spokesman for and adviser to Rabbi Berel Lazar, a chief rabbi of Russia, on Wednesday said the request in a letter from two Communist […]