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  • Jewish studies flourish in FSU

    MOSCOW, July 18 (JTA) — Since the fall of communism here in 1991, a difficult question has lingered: Is there a future for Jewish life in the former Soviet Union? Judging from the renaissance of Jewish education here, some people answer this question with a definitive yes. “The future of the community hangs on what…

  • Human rights group says it’s ‘returning to our roots

    MOSCOW, July 15 (JTA) — A group that monitors human rights in the former Soviet Union is stepping up its activities. The Union of Councils for Jews in the FSU, formerly known as the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, is increasing the number of its bureaus in Russia alone to more than 40. The…

  • 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,…

  • Jews from the Caucasus: A dying breed?

    They’ve been living in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union for more than 1,000 years. But post- Soviet turmoil is causing an exodus of the “Mountain Jews” that is prompting some to worry that their distinct language and culture may be lost.

  • Jews from the Caucasus: A dying breed?

    MOSCOW, June 5 (JTA) — The fall of communism has prompted so many renaissances in Jewish life across Eastern Europe that the phrase almost has become a cliche. But post-Soviet turmoil has jeopardized the existence of “Mountain Jews,” as Jews from the Caucasus region are known. Until the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, most…

  • New Russian Jewish leader: quiet, self-confident

    MOSCOW, May 23 (JTA) — When the Russian Jewish Congress delegates voted for a new president last week, they already knew who would win — the only candidate, oil magnate Leonid Nevzlin. They also knew what they wanted in the new leader of one of Russian Jewry’s umbrella groups — someone who could lead the…

  • Russia’s Lubavitch fights “Messianic Jews

    MOSCOW, May 21 (JTA) — When two youngsters blocked a bus traveling in downtown Minsk recently, they turned around so the passengers could read the words on the backs of their shirts: Jews for Jesus, written in Russian. The reaction they got was astonishing. “Those Yids have robbed us of everything — and now they’re…

  • Star of David flies over Moscow

    MOSCOW, May 21 (JTA) — The symbolism was evident. Last week, a group of Jewish children released a flock of doves at a ceremony last week marking the restoration of a dome and gilded Star of David on the capital’s main synagogue. The new addition to the Moscow skyline came at a time when relations…

  • Russian fascists form new movement

    MOSCOW, April 29 (JTA) — A new fascist group in Russia is arousing the concerns of some Jews — and, apparently, the support of other ones. “Eurasia Above All,” cried out Alexander Dugin at last week’s conference of the All-Russian Political Movement Eurasia in Moscow. The cry was the Russian equivalent of “Deutschland uber alles,”…

  • Russian archives shed new light on Holocaust

    MOSCOW, April 23 (JTA) – The emotional events of Holocaust Remembrance Day still draw a mixed reaction in Russia, but educational advances from projects relating to Holocaust material in Russian archives are moving forward. In a sign seen by some as positive, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko conveyed official greetings last week to a…