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  • Russian lawmaker will not face charges for anti-Semitic statements

    MOSCOW, March 16 (JTA) — Russian prosecutors are refusing to launch a criminal investigation of a Communist Party lawmaker for a statement that was widely interpreted as a call for anti-Jewish pogroms. According to the Rostov Regional Prosecutor’s Office, a controversial speech made by Albert Makashov last month “was not aimed at inciting ethnic strife.”…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Jews in Russia reinterpret meaning of Pesach — again

    MOSCOW, March 9 (JTA) — When David Karpov attended his first Passover seder here some 15 years ago, it was easy for him and other newcomers to grasp the holiday’s main themes of slavery and redemption. Soviet Jews, themselves suffering from oppression, had no trouble making a connection between their lives and what they read…

  • Vandals destroy Siberian shul as anti-Semitism rises in region

    MOSCOW, March 9 (JTA) — The scourge of anti-Semitism sweeping across Russia has reached the frozen tundra of Siberia — and Jews are reacting with increased levels of emigration. Vandals this week went on a rampage at a synagogue in the city of Novosibirsk, destroying much of the synagogue in the attack. They demolished the…

  • Russian lawmaker delivers speech interpreted as call to launch pogroms

    MOSCOW, Feb. 24 (JTA) — Is a Russian lawmaker who is seeking to become the country’s next president calling for pogroms against Jews? Albert Makashov, the hard-line Communist legislator whose repeated anti- Semitic statements have sparked controversy, said in a speech Monday that there are “good Jews” and “bad Jews” and that those whom the…

  • Sharansky looks back on past, seeing just what KGB had on him

    MOSCOW, Feb. 22 (JTA) — Natan Sharansky got a rare chance this week to review 20-year-old KGB documents relating to his activities on behalf of Russian Jewry. Heading a trade delegation on a two-day trip to Moscow, Sharansky, Israel’s minister of industry and trade, met Monday with Vladimir Putin, head of the Federal Security Service,…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Upsurge of Russian anti-Semitism sowing seeds of fear in community

    MOSCOW, Feb. 21 (JTA) — The recent upsurge of anti-Semitism in Russia has sown the seeds of fear and uncertainty among much of the country’s Jewish community. Although different segments of the community may vary in their assessment of the situation, most Jews here agree on one point: They are living through one of the…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Russian Jews flock to events celebrating Israel’s 50th birthday

    MOSCOW, June 9 (JTA) — Isaak Shpiz has never been to Israel, but the Jewish state has still been an important part of his life. “I remember that my father told me it was a historic day when Israel proclaimed its independence,” says the 66-year old retired engineer. “Since then, what’s going on in Israel…

  • Jewish candidates vying for Ukrainian Parliament

    MOSCOW, March 24 (JTA) — Jews are active participants in the Ukrainian elections scheduled for Sunday — as candidates, as voters and as targets of anti- Semitism. For the first time in post-Communist history, voters in Ukraine have a wide variety of choices, as 30 political parties have registered for the elections. Experts say that…

  • Reform Jewish leaders find potential for growth in Russia

    MOSCOW, June 28 (JTA) — American Reform Jewish leaders are optimistic about the potential for their movement’s growth in the former Soviet Union. A delegation of Reform leaders found, in visits last month to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, that the number of congregations is growing steadily — and that there is an urgent need for…

  • Lithuanian judge delays trial of alleged Nazi war criminal

    NEW YORK, May 18 (JTA) — A Lithuanian judge has postponed the trial of an alleged Nazi war criminal for the second time. The trial of Aleksandras Lileikis, 91, was slated to begin this week in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. But a judge in the case granted an adjournment of one month to allow…