Georgia (country)

  • Georgian Refugees Seek Return to Normalcy

    For Jews near the border with South Ossetia, only the smallest gap exists between normalcy and hardship. The unemployment rate in the area has always been high, hovering at about 60 percent, and there is a disproportionate amount of at-risk Jews, elderly and young. As Russian tanks and soldiers poured through the capital of Ossetia… More ▸

  • Georgia-russia Conflict Requires Israel to Balance Competing Interests

    In the war between Georgia and Russia, Israel faced a choice between a fair-weather ally and a friend by proxy. When the conflict flared two weeks ago, first with Georgia’s shelling of the capital of South Ossetia and then with Russian tanks rumbling through the breakaway province into Georgia, Israel hedged its bets: It didn’t… More ▸

  • Anatomy of an Aid Effort: Rescue and Relief in Georgia

    Some ran Friday when the bombs fell on Tskhinvali, some on Saturday when they fell on Gori and some on Sunday when the Russian tanks rolled into Georgia proper. The Jews of Georgia scattered, disappeared and resurfaced in refugee camps, relatives’ homes or at the doors of the synagogue. As Russia occupied Georgia, pushing ever… More ▸

  • Conflict Strains Ties Between Russian and Georgian Jews

    The Russian soldier took the last drag of his Marlboro Light, scanned the crowd of Georgian police huddling about 20 yards away and threw the butt in their direction. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and jogged back toward an armored vehicle, with a reporter right beside him. “We’re not going to Tbilisi. I… More ▸

  • Flee for Safety or Guard Home? Georgia’s Jews Face Wartime Dilemmas

    Tina Pshavtoshvili is a refugee, living in a borrowed room in a strange city and facing an uncertain future — again. Last time she was forced to flee a war zone she was running from Tskhinvali, capital of the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia. Her daughter was a baby, along for the escape during… More ▸

  • Jews Caught on Both Sides of Georgia-russia Fighting

    Russian and Georgian troops continued to fight a pitched battle Monday that has spilled beyond the borders of South Ossetia and toward the Georgian city of Gori, where Jewish relief organizations continued to make contact with local Jews. More than 200 Jewish residents fled the Russian bombardment over the weekend. More have decided to leave… More ▸

  • Georgian Jews Flee for Capital, Some Stay to Protect Homes

    More than 200 Jewish residents fled fighting near the Georgian border, most from a city where Russian bombers destroyed several apartment blocks Saturday, according to the Jewish Agency. The agency made contact with and coordinated efforts to evacuate Jewish families in Gori, a town famous as the birthplace of Josef Stalin, which borders the breakaway… More ▸

  • As Fighting Rages in the Caucasus, Israel Playing Down Georgia Ties

    As Russian and Georgian forces battle over South Ossetia, Israel finds itself on the defensive. Though a favored armed supplier for the former Soviet republic, the Jewish state now appears to be at pains to play down these ties rather than risk a crisis with Moscow. It is more than just sound diplomacy. With Russia… More ▸

  • Jewish Program Helps Put Georgia Refugees to Work

    Nino Dvali projects optimism and confidence, and her almond eyes sparkle when she talks about her lifelong dream: owning her own clothing boutique. When the 24-year-old Georgia native proudly unfolds the elegant, handmade black dress she designed, which looks like something Audrey Hepburn would be proud to wear, it serves as a potent reminder of… More ▸

  • Georgia’s Jewish Heritage Imperiled with Talk of War

    Shuffling cautiously along the snow-packed road that cuts through the heart of the demilitarized zone, the soldiers take to joking around, asking about a visitor’s provenance. “Siegel. That’s like Steven Seagal the actor, right?” inquires one Kalashnikov-wielding soldier. He seems disappointed but nonplused when the visitor answers in the negative, pointing out that Seagal is… More ▸