The Secret Of Putin’s Positive Relationship With Jews

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is a complex personality and there are various complaints heard about him, such as his iron rule, his repression of political opposition and his support of Syria.

However, it is clear that Putin treats the Jewish community fairly and even positively and doesn’t condone anti-Semitism in a traditionally anti-Semitic country. Jewish communities throughout the country have seen an unprecedented renaissance of Jewish religious life under Putin, including the return of dozens of shuls and buildings that were confiscated from Jewish communities in the past, the establishment of the $50 million Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow with the encouragement of Putin, and more recently, the building of a Jewish youth center in the Far Eastern Russian city of Birobidzhan

Although conflicts arise between Russia and Israel, they don’t seem to be motivated by anti-Semitism. Even his expulsion of some Chabad rabbis from the country was explained by some as a broad crackdown on foreign clergy which included the Jewish rabbis as collateral damage.

Is there a secret to Putin’s generally positive relationship with Jews? A recent Arutz Sheva report quoted a publication called Dwash Shabbat, a type of “Parsha sheet” published by Tiveria Jews who are close to Mekubal HaRav Dov Kook, which sheds some light on Putin’s relationship with Jews. The report said that the information in Dwash Shabbat was told to them by Russian Chief Rabbi, Rav Berel Lazar.

Apparently, Putin grew up in a very poor family to the point that he didn’t have enough food to eat when he was a child. Although many neighbors in their building were aware of the lack of food in the Putin household, the only ones who helped young Putin was a frum Jewish family, who provided food for him and also invited him to their Shabbos and Yom Tov seudos. The Jewish family also bought clothing for him and other necessities he was lacking.

Also, in 2018, it was reported that Putin inherited an apartment in downtown Tel Aviv. It turned out that Putin had brought an apartment for his former high school teacher Mina Yuditskaya Berliner who had made aliyah in 1973. When Putin visited Israel in 2005, she met with him and he stayed in touch with her afterward and shortly later bought her an apartment. When she died in 2018 at age 96, Berliner left the apartment to Putin via the Russian Embassy.

It seems apparent that Putin has fond memories of his relationship with Jews from his growing-up years in St. Petersburg.



14 COMMENTS

  1. The story of Jewish chesed for child Vladimir Putin is touching. But the child grew up to be the head of the KGB and a dictator. But being his friend would not be good for the Jews.

  2. Disagree with first 3 very ignorant comments.
    Having a respectful positive relationship with an important world leader can only benefit Jews worldwide. It’s that simple.

  3. This is part of the PR to change his image similarly when Iranian rabbis thst went to visit Iranian leaders upon the death of a murder of thousands

  4. Arib, Putin was never the head of the KGB. He never sent Jews (or others) to Siberia. Allegations of murder were never proven. Huju, majority of Russians love him.
    Kollel faker, he has always been like that. Even before the smear campaign against him by the Western (especially Anglo-Saxon) media because of his opposition to the toeivah lifestyle and his actions in Ukraine (where to judge who is right you need to know all the facts of history starting from the 10 century to 2014).
    Voseppes, sorry, but you are off the mark. It not his political project, and it hurt his standing among the Russian nationalists.

  5. Maybe he figured out that the anti-Semitic policies of the previous two regimes (the Communists and the Czar) were unwise and in fact totally counter-productive. The Putin is capable of learning from past mistakes can be a good thing, but as he is America’s adversary it makes him more dangerous.

  6. Hymish: Do you really believe that Jews’ cozying up to a dictator like Putin would be good for the Jews? Putin is a major threat to democratic Europe and a threat to the rest of the world that has embraced or would like to embrace democracy. And I doubt he remembers the chesed he received from Jews as a child. People like him think chesed is for losers and suckers.

  7. This article creates an opportunity to bash Chabad. It’s like a full moon, which seems to invite canines to howl with all their might. So all together now, one, two, three – Howl. Get it out of your system. Just remember the tanoim that “cozyed” up to Hurdus (King Herod), and even Doniel Hanovee with Nebuchadnetzar, and Mordichai Hatzadik with Achashverosh…and the list can go on and on.

  8. Putin is the best leader Russia has had for at least the past two centuries and likely ever. Both good for Russia/Russians as well as good for the Jews of Russia and Jews outside of Russia.

  9. What, we’ve never gotten in bed with dictators before to keep our people safe? He’s like any of the others throughout history – keep him happy, keep your head down, and let him be occupied elsewhere.