Russian Jewish leaders agree that the community should remember Boris Yeltsin, who died Monday at age 76, primarily as the man who ended decades of state-sanctioned anti-Semitism in Russia.
The trip was a rare group visit abroad by Iranian Jews, who live in an Islamic community whose government is virulently opposed to the State of Israel. The Iranians -- ages 14 to 30 -- came to Russia thanks to diplomatic efforts by Arkady Gaidamak, a Russian Jewish leader and businessman, who helped obtain a special permit from Iranian authorities.
Tajikistan's government has begun demolishing the Central Asian nation's only synagogue, offering in exchange a plot of land far from where most Jewish community members live.
The work started last month. So far, demolition crews have destroyed part of the synagogue's property, including the mikvah (ritual bath) and classroom space, according to sources in Dushanbe, the capital city. The synagogue's yard was turned into a dump for the refuse.
Moscow's five functioning synagogues have been repeated targets.
The incident took place just before the evening service, when the Bolshaya Bronnaya Synagogue in downtown Moscow was full of worshippers. The shul is one of the oldest in Moscow and serves as the base of the Agudas Chasidei Chabad in Russia, a Lubavitch organization.
There were important issues on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Israel last week. Still, Russian newspapers seemed most impressed that Putin -- the first Russian or Soviet leader to visit the Jewish state -- wore a kippah on his head when he visited Yad Vashem.
In its 10 years of operating in the former Soviet Union, Hillel has reached thousands of Jewish students.
Now it's trying to reach more.
As Russia celebratesthe 500th year of its unofficial national beverage, Yevreskaya Vodka -- or Jewish Vodka -- is succeeding with Russians by emphasizing Jewish religion and culture. Yevreskaya sells in Moscow at about $2 for a pint -- a medium-priced vodka by local standards. The Urozhai distillery, located in a village five miles outside of Moscow, first put Yevreskaya on the market six years ago.
Roughly 175,000 Jewish elderly in Russia are now served by the 88 Heseds across the former Soviet Union. These centers, run by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), account for about one-half of all Jewish social and welfare organizations in the former Soviet Union.
Earlier this month, a group of Lubavitch Jews gathered in a downtown Moscow synagogue to welcome the 16 books that were returned to the movement from the Russian State Library, formerly known as the Lenin Library, where the collection has been held for the last 80 years.
The growth of hate sites on the World Wide Web is staggering, according to a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Russia's prime minister has condemned the recent rise in anti-Semitism in Russia and said that he would press for new hate-crimes legislation to combat the growing scourge.