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  • Could Taliban’s tribe have Jewish roots?

    MOSCOW, Oct. 29 (JTA) — The two Jews now living in Afghanistan are heirs to a 2,700-year-old Jewish presence that may include members of the tribe that makes up the ruling Taliban. Jews first came to what is now called Afghanistan in the seventh or eighth centuries BCE following the first biblical exile at the…

  • Central Asian Jews live near the front

    MOSCOW, Oct. 21 (JTA) — The overwhelming support that Jews in Central Asia have for their countries’ participation in the U.S.-led airstrikes against Afghanistan is not creating any troubles with their Muslim countrymen, say Jewish leaders in the region. But given the tenuous state of relations between Jews and Muslims in the region, this assessment…

  • For Jews in former USSR, it’s a mixed bag

    MOSCOW, Sept. 3 (JTA) — On the rainy evening of Aug. 20, 1991, Leonid Kartashov brought a blue- and-white Israeli flag when he joined the 50,000 people who mobilized to defend the Moscow White House against a possible attack from anti-democratic forces. As Kartashov waved the Star of David over the crowd — a number…

  • Relatives of air disaster victims in shock

    SOCHI, Russia, Oct. 8 (JTA) — Dr. Alexander Maslakov, the director of the local morgue in this Black Sea resort, had seen many gruesome sights in his life. “But I have never seen anything like this. It is indescribable,” he said, referring to the victims of last week’s airline disaster over the Black Sea. Among…

  • Relatives of air disaster victims in shock

    SOCHI, Russia, Oct. 8 (JTA) — Dr. Alexander Maslakov, the director of the local morgue in this Black Sea resort, had seen many gruesome sights in his life. “But I have never seen anything like this. It is indescribable,” he said, referring to the victims of last week’s airline disaster over the Black Sea. Among…

  • Russian Jews back U.S. attack

    MOSCOW, Oct. 4 (JTA) — Russian Jews are parting company with their countrymen in overwhelmingly backing a U.S. attack on Afghanistan in retaliation for last month’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Indeed, Jews in Russia — and across the former Soviet Union — overwhelmingly back a U.S. attack on the Taliban regime for…

  • Russian Jews back U.S. attack

    MOSCOW, Oct. 4 (JTA) — Russian Jews are parting company with their countrymen in overwhelmingly backing a U.S. attack on Afghanistan in retaliation for last month’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Indeed, Jews in Russia — and across the former Soviet Union — overwhelmingly back a U.S. attack on the Taliban regime for…

  • Russian athletes psyched for Maccabiah Games

    MOSCOW, July 9 (JTA) — Masha Mazina, an Olympic gold medal winner in fencing and a member of the Russian team for next week’s Maccabiah Games, is surprised that many Western athletes have decided not to compete in the Games for safety reasons. “I don’t think there is a really serious danger,” Mazina told JTA,…

  • Russian Jews blame arson on political feud

    KOSTROMA, Russia, Aug. 5 (JTA) — A recent arson attack on the synagogue here is the result of a feud between two local politicians, according to a local Jewish leader. The 1,500 members of Kostroma’s Jewish community are on good terms with the city’s mayor — indeed, one community member is a deputy mayor of…

  • Russian Jews express solidarity with Israel, U.S.

    JERUSALEM, Sept. 16 (JTA) — Berel Lazar, Russia’s chief rabbi, was expounding on a sacred text Sept. 11 at a small Lubavitch synagogue near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. As he was about to urge his listeners to support Israel, someone with a mobile phone rushed into the room with news of the terrorist attack…