Soviet Jewry

  • Ort Schools in FSU Suffer Cutbacks

    Students in uniform dart in and out of the nondescript door of School No. 550, sandwiched between one of this river city’s iconic canals and the edge of its seediest market. The school seems to be perched on the edge of regal affluence, but it already has pitched headlong into the din of financial turmoil…. More ▸

  • FSU Chabad Emissaries Remember Holtzbergs

    Chabad emissaries across the former Soviet Union memorialized the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Many among the tight-knit group serving in synagogues and community centers across the former Soviet Union — the largest Chabad network outside Israel and Brooklyn — knew Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg. The Holtzbergs were killed in an… More ▸

  • Budgets Slashed at Jewish Schools in FSU

    Across the former Soviet Union, Chabad’s outreach network is facing an acute financial crisis that has slashed budgets across the board and left the region’s largest network of Jewish schools scrambling to stay afloat. Accounts of the depth of the financial crisis for Chabad in the former Soviet Union vary widely among rabbis and professionals… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Russia’s chief Chabad rabbi castigated the United States for its refusal to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment. In an interview published Wednesday in a Russian newspaper, Rabbi Berel Lazar said the only reasoning behind retaining the amendment was political and that it’s usefulness had long ago passed. The Cold War-era measure places restrictions on countries that… More ▸

  • Rhythmic Gymnasts Go to the Mat with Approach Born in FSU

    On one side of the cavernous gym, six members of Israel’s first Olympic rhythmic gymnastics team warm up in a circle, chatting softly in a mix of Russian and Hebrew while stretching their legs in effortless splits on the mat. Nearby, Irina Risenzon, a fellow gymnast competing in the individual category, is trying to master… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Several key Jewish backers of Hillary Clinton say she should fight on, despite mounting pressure to quit her presidential bid. “It’s plain that she’s been an incredible candidate with a lot of momentum,” Philadelphia attorney Mark Aronchick said, adding that “she’d be the one to win” in the electoral college. Party opinion seemed to be… More ▸

  • Limmud FSU Becomes Self-sustaining and Spreads

    The night bus to Limmud Moscow navigates the Friday-night gridlock of Mercedes’ and Range Rovers on Rublovskoye highway, the main thoroughfare to the chateaus of Russia’s oligarchs. Huddled in the back of the bus, a group of newly minted Limmudniks, as organizers call them, pass the time playing cards and trading the Hebrew phrases they… More ▸

  • Soviet Jewry Campaign Also Transformed American Jewry

    When Jacob Birnbaum began knocking on dormitory doors at Yeshiva University in the spring of 1964, he only half-believed anyone would answer. The young British activist had come to New York to mobilize a grassroots campaign to draw attention to the plight of 3 million Jews trapped behind the Iron Curtain — a cause that… More ▸

  • The Soviet Jewry Campaign Transformed American Jewry, Too

    When Jacob Birnbaum began knocking on dormitory doors at Yeshiva University in the spring of 1964, he only half-believed anyone would answer. The young British activist had come to New York to mobilize a grassroots campaign to draw attention to the plight of 3 million Jews trapped behind the Iron Curtain — a cause that… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Kazakhstan’s chief rabbi lobbied in Washington for favorable trade status for the Caucasus nation. Rabbi Yeshaya Cohen, in the United States to attend a Chabad-Lubavitch conference in New York, met Tuesday and Wednesday with top congressional members. They included Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and… More ▸