Walter Ruby

Bad For Democracy, But Good For The Jews?

06/15/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Does the return of Cold War rhetoric between the United States and Russia and an ongoing rollback of democratic rights in Russia mean that the Jewish community of Russia is facing the scepter of a return to the bad old days of the Soviet Union?According to an assortment of Russian Jewish leaders spanning the religious and ideological gamut from the Chabad Lubavitch-affiliated chief rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, to leaders of more secular bodies like the Russian Jewish Congress, the answer is an emphatic “No.” Russia is not, they say, again becoming an uncomfortable and dan

Recovering Their Lost Back Pages

06/08/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Severed from their own history — its joys and tragedies — growing numbers of retirement-age Russian Jews here are on a roots journey to uncover as much as they can about how Jews from the former Soviet Union lived and died.And though they have come to the journey later than many American-born Jews, they are making up for lost time, fueled both by the Internet and a nagging feeling of incompleteness.

Pressure Rising On Russia To Pay Pensions

06/01/2007

 For the first time, a high-level United States government delegation will travel to Moscow to press Russian officials to pay pensions to refugees and immigrants from Russia, and its predecessor, the Soviet Union, now living in the U.S., The Jewish Week has learned. News of the upcoming negotiations — which will be held in the Russian capital next week between a delegation from the U.S.

New Roots At An Old Agency

05/04/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 What caused Edward Karan, a stylish 34-year-old banker for Citi Private Bank, to become a founding member of the Young Leadership Initiative at the Hebrew Free Loan Society? After all, Hebrew Free Loan is a venerable community institution that evokes images of peddlers with pushcarts on the Lower East Side of a century ago, and in fact has been providing interest-free loans to members of the New York Jewish community since 1892.

State Funds Chernobyl Screening

04/13/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Amid the publicity given to Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s partially successful efforts to achieve significant savings in health care costs in the state budget, one little-noticed line item expanding state funding for health care was inserted with the support of the leadership of both houses of the State Legislature — $540,000 for thyroid cancer screening for New Yorkers who were exposed to massive amounts of harmful radiation during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

‘Momik’ Lost In Translation?

03/28/2008
Special to The Jewish Week

 What do you get when you mix a determinedly dovish Israeli playwright with a stridently hawkish Russian-Jewish theater audience here? Apparent miscommunication.

That is what seemed to play out at the opening night performance of the Gesher Theater’s production of “Momik” last week at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. 

A Seat At The Table

04/15/2005
Special to The Jewish Week

Membership has its privileges, especially for a Russian community fighting for respect and full participation in American Jewish life.Another step along that road was reached last week when the American Zionist Movement accepted the application of Russian American Jews for Israel for membership.

The Whole Megillah On Stalin’s Death

03/25/2005
Special to The Jewish Week

 Before the apparent effort by political rivals to poison Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko last fall, there may have been the Purim poisoning of Joseph Stalin.Dr. Alexander Rashin, a biophysicist from the former Soviet Union who now lives in Teaneck, N.J, is convinced that the notorious Soviet dictator was poisoned by his closest political close associates on March 1,1953, and did not die of natural causes, as has long been believed.

The Left’s New Hero: Sharon

03/04/2005
Special to The Jewish Week

 Some seem not quite able to believe what is happening to them, but many American Jewish peace activists find themselves lining up these days behind the Israeli leader they have most reviled over the years: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.Speaking to an audience of about 500 here last week at the annual meeting of Brit Tzedek V’Shalom, a national organization founded three years ago with the aim of introducing a dovish perspective into the Jewish organizational world, Brit Tzedek President Marcia Freedman remarked, “We may gag on it, but we have to support the Sharon government

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

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