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Forging Ties Between Bukharian Jews, Muslims — Slowly — In Queens

Joint projects have drawn the involvement of community leaders — but not yet of community members.

06/22/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When a group of Bukharian Jews and representatives of a mosque in Queens held a Muslim-Jewish health fair earlier this month, more than 100 local Muslims turned out for the afternoon of free blood tests, eye exams and other procedures, as well as brief comments by religious, community and elected leaders.

Muslim women attending this month’s Jewish-Muslim health fair line up to see Regina Smolyak. Inga Kotlovsky

The Great Hate Debate

02/11/2005
Special to The Jewish Week

 Leaders of the fractious Jewish community in Russia are taking opposing positions on whether a vote last week by the lower house of Russia’s parliament to condemn an overtly anti-Semitic statement signed by 19 of its members amounts to progress in the fight against anti-Jewish bigotry.Yet four major Jewish leaders — Chief Rabbis Berel Lazar and Adolf Shayevich; Vladimir Slutsker, president of the Russian Jewish Congress; and Mikhail Chlenov, secretary general of the Eurasian Jewish Congress — agreed in separate phone interviews that the recent upsurge of anti-Semitis

Russian Identity Rock

01/11/2008
Special to The Jewish Week

 Call it dialectical rock — a new musical form with roots in the psyche of the Soviet past that gives voice to all the contradictions of the present-day Russian Jewish immigrant experience. 

Drozdy (Blackbirds), a musical group formed six months ago by five close friends in their early 50’s — most of whom have been part of the tight-knit Russian literary, artistic and counter-cultural scene since arriving here 30 years ago — have been winning raves since they cut their self-titled CD last month (many of the songs are available on YouTube). 

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