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former Soviet Union

  • With Chabad Struggling in Belarus, Reform Community Has Stepped Up

    Visitors to any capital city in the former Soviet Union are likely to find a building much like the one at Kropotkina 22 in central Minsk. Situated on prime real estate and a stone’s throw from the U.S. Embassy, it bears the insignia of Chabad-Lubavitch. Yet this particular Chabad synagogue and community center is strikingly… More ▸

  • Fears of Major Budget Cuts Have FSU Jewish School Heads Sweating

    A feared $1 million slash in the Jewish Agency for Israel’s budget for Jewish schools in the former Soviet Union would seriously impact non-Orthodox educational options, local leaders are saying. According to sources in Jerusalem and Moscow, the Jewish Agency will decide later this month whether to cut 40 percent of its annual $2.5 million… More ▸

  • Belarus Jews Fight for Yeshiva but Lack Funds to Renovate It

    A historic yeshiva in Belarus that was returned to the Jewish community could be confiscated again if local Jews can’t raise $20,000 to renovate the building. Authorities last week gave the community until May 10 to raise the money or face a lawsuit returning ownership of the building to the municipality. At stake is the… More ▸

  • In Finland, Immigrants from FSU Revitalize a Dying Jewish Community

    Before Tamara Tuuminen left her native Moscow in 1978 with her husband, an ethnic Finn, she distanced herself from her Jewish roots. In the Soviet Union in the 1970s, “it was dangerous to be involved” in Jewish life, said Tuuminen, 51, a specialist in immunology and clinical microbiology who lives in Helsinki. “You could lose… More ▸

  • Across the Former Soviet Union Chabad Switching Its FSU Focus

    Russia’s largest Jewish group has announced new targets for the upcoming year, changing its primary focus from expansion to the quality of services. Now that its previous policy of expanding the network of Jewish communities in Russia has resulted in more than 190 member communities, the Chabad-led Federation of Jewish Communities said in its end-of-the-year… More ▸