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Georgia (country)

  • 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 ▸

  • Georgian Jews in Russia Suffer Because of Diplomatic Dispute

    The Georgian community in Russia is suffering from the current diplomatic crisis between Russia and their home country. That includes thousands of Georgian-born Jews who immigrated to Russia after the fall of communism and a civil war that ravaged their small state in the Caucasus. “We are all victims of this conflict, both Georgians and… More ▸

  • Jews in Georgia Are Optimistic After Eduard Shevardnadze Resigns

    Jews in the former Soviet republic of Georgia are trying to keep a low political profile following the ouster of President Eduard Shevardnadze — but they’re confident the change of power won’t endanger the community. Community institutions, including a Jewish day school and a kindergarten, are functioning normally this week, Georgia’s chief rabbi, Avimelech Rosenblat,… More ▸

  • Former Soviet Minister Wins Jewish Vote in Georgia Elections

    Jews in the former Soviet republic of Georgia gave their overwhelming support to the re-election of President Eduard Shevardnadze, according to communal leaders. The community, numbering about 15,000, wanted to reward Shevardnadze for his long support, the leaders said. Sunday’s vote came amid charges by the president’s rival of ballot-stuffing and other abuses. But given… More ▸

  • Georgia Celebrates 2,600 Years of Jewish Life in Ex-soviet State

    Israeli flags and other Jewish symbols adorned the streets of Tbilisi last week as part of a festival highlighting 2,600 years of Jewish life in Georgia. An estimated 50,000 people attended the four-day event, mainly sponsored by the government of President Eduard Shevardnadze, which included concerts, theater performances and a Jewish film festival. The only… More ▸

  • Georgian Theater Group Defies Court Order to Leave Synagogue

    A theater troupe in the former Soviet republic of Georgia is preventing the Jewish community from regaining possession of a historic synagogue. Last year, Georgia’s Supreme Arbitrage Court ruled that the synagogue should be returned to the Jewish community, but the troupe, which is currently housed in the building, is refusing to leave. Georgian President… More ▸

  • Shevardnadze Takes Lead in Feting Jews of Georgia

    The president of the former Soviet republic of Georgia is taking the lead in celebrating 26 centuries of Jewish life in the region. Eduard Shevardnadze, who has been supportive of the Jewish community, also said he would provide government sponsorship for a large-scale event scheduled for September. Local tradition says the first Jews arrived in… More ▸

  • Georgian Jews Battle Theater for Return of Former Synagogue

    A 100-year-old building that once housed a synagogue in Tbilisi is at the center of a dispute between the local Jewish community and a popular theater group in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The theater group last month went on a hunger strike to protest a court decision to return the building to the… More ▸