Tagged Vladimir Putin

Benjamin Netanyahu had a very, very good week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shown after delivering a speech on Iran's nuclear program at his country's defense ministry in Tel Aviv, April 30, 2018. Some have said his speech helped sway President Donald Trump to leave the Iran deal. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

(JTA) – On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu began his week by meeting his Cypriote and Greek counterparts to finalize the commercial export to Europe of Israeli gas that he has pushed to exploit for about a decade. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from nuclear… Read more »

Why some Jews in Russia don’t think Putin’s comment about them was anti-Semitic

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, left, and Alexander Boroda, head of the Federation of Jewish Communities, during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 28, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — When Boruch Gorin, a well-known rabbi in Moscow, traveled for the first time from Russia to the United States, a U.S. Customs officer asked him whether he was Russian. “I said, ‘No, I’m not Russian — I’m Jewish,’” Gorin recalled Monday, 27 years after the exchange at… Read more »

In an ultra-wealthy Moscow suburb, a luxurious JCC opens its doors

An exterior view of the Zhokuvka Jewish Community Center. (Courtesy of The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia)

ZHUKOVKA, Russia (JTA) — On the only road connecting this affluent village on Moscow’s western outskirts, Russian secret service agents are blocking all inbound traffic. Drivers bound for Zhukovka pull over and step out to smoke while chatting with other motorists as a line of luxury cars grows on the shoulder… Read more »

Everyone’s talking ISIS at the UN, leaving Netanyahu glaring

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York City, Oct. 1, 2015. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

(JTA) – All anyone attending the United Nations General Assembly opening seemed to want to talk about was the threat posed to the world by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. That was much to the consternation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who argued in his speech… Read more »

A Russian chief rabbi stands by his strongman, aka Putin

Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, right, attending a brit milah at a Moscow synagogue, on April 28, 2015. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

MOSCOW (JTA) – Rabbi Berel Lazar’s mother was eager for grandchildren. So she gave her 25-year-old son an ultimatum: He could return to his beloved Jewish outreach work in Russia if — and only if — he got married. His yeshiva classmates jokingly said he was already wed, “to the idea of… Read more »

For Russia’s Jews, Nemtsov murder is reminder of their vulnerability

Some of the tens of thousands in Moscow protesting the murder of Boris Nemtsov, March 1, 2015. (Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

(JTA) — During the past two years, Dima Zicer has skipped several political rallies opposing the chauvinistic policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Jewish scholar of education from St. Petersburg, Zicer, 55, has limited hope for change in a country that is ranked 148th in the Press Freedom Index and where several… Read more »

Putin critic, gay activist to speak in Tucson

Masha Gessen

“Speaking truth to power” is a way of life for Russian-American Jewish journalist Masha Gessen. An outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch supporter of gay rights and a chronicler for the voiceless, the award-winning author will speak at four community events during “A Day With Masha… Read more »

Russia and Ukraine at war — among the Jews anyway

(JTA) — The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has pitted Jewish leaders from both countries against each other, touching off a discordant exchange between prominent rabbis on opposite sides of the border. The discord had been brewing since the onset of the protests in Ukraine in November, but it… Read more »

Putin’s Jewish embrace: Is it love or politics?

Vladimir Putin with Israeli President Shimon Peres during Peres' official visit to Moscow in 2012. (Mark Neyman/GPO/FLASH90)

(JTA) — When even Russian policemen had to pass security checks to enter the Sochi Winter Olympics, Rabbi Berel Lazar was waved in without ever showing his ID. Lazar, a Chabad-affiliated chief rabbi of Russia, was invited to the opening ceremony of the games last month by President Vladimir Putin’s… Read more »

Putin’s party loses key city to tough Jew with checkered past

Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman meeting with a constituent in his office, Oct. 17, 2013. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (JTA) — Growing up in one of the Soviet Union’s richest cities, Elena Chudnovskaya never imagined that she would be raising her daughter in a place so full of drug addicts that “the flowerbeds became strewn with syringes.” But that is what became of her downtown apartment… Read more »

No surprises in Putin victory, but question for Russian Jews is what comes next

Demonstrators in Moscow protest Vladimir Putin's re-election, including one carrying a sign reading "We are not an opposition, we are your employers!" with the word "fired" over a drawing of Putin's face, March 5, 2012. (Freedom House via CC)

(JTA) — With Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president of Russia pretty much a foregone conclusion, the question facing Russia was never what would result from last weekend’s election but what would happen after the vote. Thousands of protesters turned out Monday in a Moscow saturated with police and soldiers… Read more »