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  • TEN YEARS AFTER THE WALL Jewish centers offer safety net for elderly in former Soviet Union

    YEKATERINBURG, Russia, Sept. 28 (JTA) — Evgeniya Fridman pours into a glass jar some of the free soup she’s just received at a soup kitchen here. “These lunches give us life,” says Fridman, as she adds more food to the jar. The leftovers will serve as her dinner, she explains. “I will have it at…

  • Heseds provide free services for needy, elderly Jews in Russia

    YEKATERINBURG, Russia, Sept. 28 (JTA) — The Hesed centers operating throughout the former Soviet Union are funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which is a primary recipient of funds raised by local federations for overseas needs. Among the free services provided by Heseds in 1998: * Food packages — More than 648,000 food…

  • TEN YEARS AFTER THE WALL Elderly Russians rediscover their Jewish roots through JDC centers

    YEKATERINBURG, Russia, Sept. 28 (JTA) — Lev Entin, a 90-year-old resident of St. Petersburg, has spent the past year relearning something he spent most of his life trying to forget: his Judaism. Entin”s father was a shochet, or ritual slaughterer, and until Entin was 12, he attended a cheder, or Jewish school. But after that,…

  • TEN YEARS AFTER THE WALL Russian city’s Jews reconnect with heritage, and one another

    TULA, Russia, Sept. 1 (JTA) — For decades, Faina and Anatoly Sanevich kept their Judaism private. Natives of Ukraine, where they both survived Nazi ghettos as small children, the couple spoke Yiddish to each other at home. But unwilling to complicate their children”s lives, they spoke Russian with their two sons. Every Passover they would…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Dagestan’s Jews fear Islamic rebels fighting Moscow, ‘Zionist&#82

    MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (JTA) — After several weeks of bloody clashes with Russian forces, Muslim insurgents in Dagestan have declared they are moving to the next stage in their struggle to impose Islamic rule in the area— the fight against “Zionist” domination. In a statement posted on the Islamic rebels’ Web site, insurgent leader Shamil…

  • After Bay Area Jews lead battle, a synagogue is dedicated in Russia

    MOSCOW, Aug. 15 (JTA) — Sometimes it pays to speak up. That’s the lesson the tiny Jewish community in the Russian town of Borovichi learned last week when it reaped the harvest of a campaign triggered in 1998, when Jewish officials there reported an increase in neo-Nazi activities. Local Jews, town officials and a group…

  • Russian government shake-up has Jewish community nervous

    MOSCOW, Aug. 10 (JTA) — Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s latest Cabinet reshuffling could hinder the government’s ability to crack down on anti-Semitism, according to Russian Jewish leaders. “There is little grounds for optimism when we call on the government to ensure stability but there is no stability with the government itself,” said Pavel Feldblum, the…

  • Human-rights group tries to stop anti-Semitic TV in St. Petersburg

    MOSCOW, Aug. 8 (JTA) — A St. Petersburg-based human rights group and a team of lawyers are putting together a case to stop anti-Semitic broadcasts coming from the city-owned Petersburg Television. The group, Citizens’ Watch, accuses the city’s major television channel of airing views by ultranationalists that incite national, racial and religious hatred, which is…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Barak gets a warm welcome in Moscow, despite differences

    MOSCOW, Aug. 2 (JTA) — Top Russian officials extended Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s honeymoon during his 24-hour trip here this week. Along with Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s first public condemnation of the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks, Russia’s desire to play a more prominent role in the Middle East and the transfer of Russian…

  • Russian Holocaust survivors receive payments from Swiss fund

    MOSCOW, Aug. 2 (JTA) — Some 200 Holocaust victims have received their first payment from a Swiss fund created in 1997 to help needy survivors. At a ceremony in the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue inside Moscow’s World War II Memorial Park, the survivors received vouchers that will allow them to receive $400 from the $180 million…