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  • Georgian theater group defies court order to leave synagogue

    MOSCOW, April 27 (JTA) — A theater troupe in the former Soviet republic of Georgia is preventing the Jewish community from regaining possession of a historic synagogue. Last year, Georgia’s Supreme Arbitrage Court ruled that the synagogue should be returned to the Jewish community, but the troupe, which is currently housed in the building, is…

  • Suspected war criminal says he is victim of Jewish pressure

    MOSCOW, Feb. 18 (JTA) — A suspected war criminal living in Lithuania is charging that he is a victim of international Jewish pressure. Aleksandras Lileikis, 91, who made the comment in a television interview, said he is being brought to trial because the Baltic nation has caved into pressure from Jewish groups. Lileikis is suspected…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Cabinet shake-up in Russia unlikely to affect Jewish issues

    MOSCOW, March 23 (JTA) — Russian foreign policy is unlikely to be affected by a new government. This is the preliminary indication emanating out of Moscow in the wake of President Boris Yeltsin’s decision Monday to dismiss his entire Cabinet. Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who like most members of the Cabinet will continue to perform…

  • 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…

  • Russians cry foul over funds from Germany to Nazi victims

    MOSCOW, Feb. 8 (JTA) — Resentment is growing in the former Soviet Union over compensation being given to Jewish survivors of the Nazis. This resentment is at least partially responsible for a recent move by Russian legislators to ask Germany to allocate more funds to non-Jewish Nazi victims in Russia. The non-binding resolution approved last…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD New Jewish study center adds to Moscow’s learning explosion

    MOSCOW, Feb. 3 (JTA) — A new center for Jewish studies — the first-ever cooperative project between Israeli and Russian universities — has been dedicated at Moscow State University. The program is affiliated with the school’s prestigious Institute for Asian and African Studies, which has trained many well-known politicians, diplomats and public figures. Throughout most…

  • Aliyah from former Soviet Union decreased substantially in 1998

    MOSCOW, Jan. 31 (JTA) — When economic conditions worsened in the middle of 1998, some Russian Jewish officials spoke about a possible exodus of Jews to Israel. That exodus failed to materialize, but emigration from Russia did increase during the last few months of 1998, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Some 46,020 immigrants…