Report: Jewish Russian Community Is Falling Apart

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Illustrative: Children play as men pray during the International Holocaust Survivors Night of the Jewish Community at the Jewish Community Center and Synagogue in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, December 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

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“The Jewish community in Russia as we knew it at the beginning of 2022 will never be the same,” one of the leaders of the Russian Jewish community recently told The Jerusalem Post. “It is so fragile, it’s literally crumbling apart.”

According to the report, this leader is literally afraid for his life, speaking to the Post reporter from a secret apartment in central Israel. Although there was no one else in the room, he continued his comments in a whisper: “In the past two months, Putin has closed access to all independent press outlets. He’s tried to turn Russia into North Korea.”

“All of the young professionals have left Russia, there’s a huge migration of hi-tech employees to other countries in enormous numbers. If you go to Dubai you will hear more Russian than in Russia.”

Another prominent member of the Russian Jewish community told the Post that about two-thirds of the members of her community have left or intend to leave Russia.

Speaking from an unnamed country in western Europe, she said: “Those in the community who are rich – at least 95% of them – have already left Russia in the past few years since the 2014 war. Among the young Jews, more than 80% have already left. There was an exodus of people in the hi-tech field. I’ve left Russia because many figures in our community suggested that it wasn’t safe for me to stay there any longer.”

She added that she left Russia because in the future she wants to be remembered as someone who was on the right side of history. “Our children and grandchildren will ask: ‘What did you do during the Russian-Ukrainian war? Secondly, there was pressure and there is pressure from the authorities for the leaders of all Jewish communities and institutions to speak out in favor of the war and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. We were not prepared to do that.”

Another leading figure in the Russian Jewish community said that the conditions in Putin’s Russia have been slowly deteriorating since 2014. “It’s not that all of a sudden Russia changed,” he said. “In 2014, Putin decided to rebuild an empire at the expense of relations with the whole world. Since Russia is isolated, 95% of Russian businessmen have already left.”

All the heads of Jewish Russian communities quoted in the report agree that Russia is reverting back to the days of the USSR. “It’s not a big deal to close the gates of the country,” one said. “There are no flights to the West and Europe anymore, so you just need to cancel a few flights and that’s it.”

Alex, a senior leader in Russia’s religious Jewish community, explained why he fled the country, even though he hadn’t planned to do so originally. “Members of our community told me it was dangerous for me to stay,” Alex said. “I didn’t want to leave because I have a huge responsibility toward my congregants. But I left after people who I trust told me I needed to leave.”

A member of the Jewish community in Moscow spoke about the difficult financial situation many Jews are now facing: “There are lots of Jewish families that are in a terrible financial situation. Lots of people from our community were representatives of foreign companies or banks. They woke up one morning and realized that they had nothing.”

According to a representative of a Russian Jewish tzedaka fund, the number of families needing assistance has jumped from about 800 before the war to at least 3,200 today.

One Jewish leader concluded by saying that regardless of the war in Ukraine, the Russian Jewish community will never be the same.

“I’ve invested more than 30 years of my life in our Jewish community and schools in Russia, but I can only see myself returning if there is a different president,” he said. “No matter what happens with this war, the Russian Jewish community won’t be the same community it was. It’s literally falling apart. Our community may partially survive, but it will be significantly smaller.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

5 COMMENTS

  1. Wow such a sad situation

    I think it’s time we all wake up for our loving brethren suffering and do serious Teshuva and Achdus together ASAP as a zechus for them.

    We all know that there’s no such a thing as coincidence and everything has a direct message from Hashem sent down on day 1 as the event is happening that is not found in any sefer or read in any newspaper from a Tzaddik speaking

    The current Russian Ukraine war shocking message from Hashem:

    World War 1, World War 2 And the Current War of the Invasion of Russia into Ukraine which can Chas Vshalom bring the world today to another world War 3 if we don’t wake ourselves up to serious Teshuva and Achdus together As soon as possible
    All 3 Wars if you put the numbers of the date each war started they all come out to the same Gematria numerical Value number of 68

    World War 1 started on July 28 1914
    That’s 7+28+19+14=68

    World War 2 started on September 1 1939
    That’s 9+1+19+39=68

    Current Russian invasion to Ukraine War started on February 24 2022
    That’s 2+24+20+22=68

    Do you know what’s the Numerical Value of 68? Chaim/Life and what is the Message from Hashem? Hashem runs the entire world from every country to every tiny city to every person’s life and it’s all in the Power and Hands of Hashem the decree of every person like we say on Rosh Hashanah every year Lchaim Vlo Lamavess. (To life and not vice versa to death Chas Vshalom) When Klal yisroel is not doing Teshuva and forgets who really runs the entire world then Hashem has to remind us who is the real ruler of the world by making world wars happen R”L with millions of lives being killed.

    May we all wake ourselves up to serious Teshuva and Achdus together ASAP so we don’t need any more tragedies hitting klal yisroel C”V and Mashiach bkarov can come.

  2. Dude, Sam, you’re nuts man. There’s no gematrias from stupid goyish dates. That’s ridiculous. It’s pretty cool, I admit. And your message is emes. But dude, cmon…

  3. Sam Klein,
    You mean well, but your message is cliché. Teshuva, Achdus, Tznius bla bla bla.
    We need chizuk, not cold mussar speeches. When I listen to Rav Meilech Biderman, I feel uplifted. He knows how to speak to the neshume, he doesn’t criticize, he gives strength.

  4. To Aidyn Breiter:

    Before you ridicule someone.. remember who made the ‘non Jewish’ dates? It’s all orchestrated from Hashem.. its called למספרם

    Do you know the numerical value of G-O-D? yes 26! the same as the שם השם

    So just remember, everything is calculated from above without us even knowing!
    Believe in Hashem and trust in him!

  5. I can’t believe how ignorant Jews are of history and how naive they are to believe everything they read. Do you know which country provided the concentration camp guards and operated the gas chambers. I will give you a hint. It wasn’t Russia. They LIBERATED Auschwitz. The ones who trained in Trawniki. Ask any old Jew how he was treated in the Ukraine. Go look up the name “Ivan Demjanjanjuk” or Azov Battalion. The right side of history??? Study some Jewish history and see who carried out the pogroms!