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  • Russian Jews worry about arrest of another magnate

    MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (JTA) — Russian police have arrested a prominent Jewish leader in St. Petersburg and may charge him with kidnapping two people, according to the city’s chief prosecutor. Mikhail Mirilashvili, 40, is one of the city’s most influential business magnates and head of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Jewish Congress. Observers…

  • Human rights advocates declare Russian ‘emergency

    MOSCOW, Jan. 22 (JTA) – More than 1,000 activists from across Russia gathered here over the weekend to declare a national human rights “emergency.” But many Jewish leaders, objecting to the gathering’s anti-Kremlin tone, stayed away. Speakers at the two-day Emergency Congress in Defense of Human Rights, sponsored by the liberal Yabloko Party and some…

  • Wallenberg’s death remains a mystery

    MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (JTA) — Despite 10 years of study by a joint Russian-Swedish commission, the mystery surrounding Raoul Wallenberg remains unsolved. The commission studying the case of the Swedish diplomat, who saved tens of thousands of Jews during World War II only to be arrested by Soviet agents in Budapest in 1945, issued two…

  • Jewish leader: Belarus isn’t fighting anti-Semitism

    MOSCOW, Jan. 7 (JTA) — A Jewish leader in Belarus is expressing fear and frustration following the firebombing of a Minsk synagogue late last month. “Jews once more felt themselves completely unprotected,” said Yakov Basin, one of the leaders of Belarus’ 60,000-strong Jewish community. On the final night of Chanukah in late December, unidentified arsonists…

  • Marty Glickman, foiled Olympian, dies at 83

    NEW YORK, Jan. 7 (JTA) — Marty Glickman, a track star who believed he was denied a chance to run in the 1936 Berlin Olympics because he was Jewish and who later became a top sports announcer, died Jan. 3 at the age of 83. He died of complications from heart surgery, according to one…

  • JCCs central to Jewish life in former Soviet Union

    MOSCOW, Jan. 2 (JTA) – In the United States, Jewish community centers are known mostly for their pools and nursery schools. In the former Soviet Union, however, JCCs are seen as an essential tool for rebuilding Jewish life. The centers, the majority of which are funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, house Jewish…

  • Jewish official nearly killed in Moscow mikvah

    MOSCOW, Dec. 26 (JTA) — A Jewish leader may well have saved his life by doing the “dead man’s float” in a local mikvah. In a bizarre incident possibly linked to rivalries within the local Jewish community, Avrohom Berkowitz had put on his winter coat and was about to leave Moscow’s Choral Synagogue last Saturday…

  • Putin interprets Chanukah

    MOSCOW, Dec. 24 (JTA) — Never known as a scholar of Judaism, Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his interpretation of the meaning of Chanukah. The holiday “means not a military but a spiritual victory, and without that it is impossible to build a strong society and a strong state,” Putin said late last week,…

  • Russian Jews alarmed by magnate’s arrest

    MOSCOW, Dec. 17 (JTA) – The activities of one of Russian Jewry’s largest groups will continue despite the arrest of one of the Jewish community’s main financiers, a leader of the group said. Some Jewish activists had predicted the quick collapse of the Russian Jewish Congress as pressure on the business empire of RJC President…

  • New shul dedicated in Russia

    CHELYABINSK, Russia, Nov. 13 (JTA) – A synagogue recently dedicated here is being called an example of a rare cooperation between rival Jewish groups – and local politicians. Jews first came in large numbers to this city, known for manufacturing nuclear weapons parts, around World War II, when Stalin moved large arms factories here from…