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  • Estonia to Mark Holocaust Day, but Jewish Issue Still Controversial

    After years of mounting pressure from Western governments, the Estonian Cabinet has designated Jan. 27 as Holocaust Day. However, the government did not make public observance compulsory — so it’s unclear how widespread observance will be — and the Ministry of Education has not yet announced specific educational programs. The date falls on the anniversary… More ▸

  • Reward for Tips on War Criminals Shines Spotlight on Estonia’s Record

    A program offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Nazi war criminals has incited a heated dispute in Estonia that could hinder the country’s bid to join NATO. Two days after Operation Last Chance was announced July 8 by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, Efraim Zuroff, director of the center’s Israel… More ▸

  • Estonian Nazi Collaborator Buried with Honors in National Cemetery

    The remains of the man who commanded Estonia’s Nazi- sponsored SS division during World War II has been reburied in the country’s national cemetery alongside the graves of some of the Baltic nation’s leading historical figures. Estonia’s top state and military officials attended Saturday’s ceremony honoring Alfons Rebane, who is regarded by many Estonians as… More ▸

  • Baltic Knesset Convenes on Anti-semitism in Estonia

    Jewish leaders of three Baltic states are expressing concern about anti-Semitism in Latvia and Lithuania. The comments came during a recent three-day meeting of the Assembly of Jewish Communities of the Baltic States — a group known as the Baltic Knesset. The annual session of the group, held in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, also… More ▸

  • Estonia Suspects Israelis Performed Illegal Transplants

    Kidney transplants recently performed in Estonia have thrown the spotlight on the issue of Israeli organ transplants. The controversy, which one leading daily newspaper in the Baltic nation has labeled the “scandal of the year,” began in early January, when Israeli surgeons transplanted kidneys into Israeli patients at the Central Hospital in the Estonian capital… More ▸

  • Estonian Capital to Get Synagogue

    The only European capital without a synagogue. That’s how the head of Estonia’s Jewish community, David Slomka, describes the country’s capital of Talinn. But that will soon change with the construction of a synagogue and Jewish community center in the city’s historic center. The four-story building received the go-ahead after the Estonian Cabinet designated a… More ▸

  • Jews in Estonia to Benefit from Eased Residency Criteria

    Hundreds of Estonian Jews stand to benefit from the government’s decision last week to grant permanent-resident status to the nation’s Russian-speaking minority. Most members of the 3,000-member Russian-speaking Jewish community of Estonia do not have Estonian citizenship because they cannot pass the language test, according to Jewish officials in the capital of Tallinn. And without… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Jews in Estonia, Moldova Harmed by Language Laws

    The language laws of two former Soviet republics are blocking employment opportunities for their respective Jewish communities and in one case impeding their chances of obtaining full citizenship rights. In Estonia, most of the country’s Jews do not have passports and are not eligible for citizenship, according to a human rights group based in the… More ▸

  • Estonian Jews Experience Increased Anti-semitism, Jewish Groups Report

    Jews in Estonia are experiencing an upsurge in anti-Semitism along with the threat of being deprived of their civil rights, Jewish groups are reporting. In a letter to B’nai B’rith International in Washington, a Jew in the capital city of Tallinn detailed some unsettling incidents, saying new developments in Estonia “menace life and calmness of… More ▸

  • Concern Raised over Reports of Anti-semitism in Estonia

    Troubling reports of widespread anti-Semitism in the newly independent republic of Estonia has prompted a Jewish protest to the Estonian Parliament. Shimon Samuels, European director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote to Arnold Rutter, chairman of the Presidium of the Estonian Supreme Soviet, warning these incidents “not only threaten the Jewish community but also the… More ▸