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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Moscow’

Ukraine’s Jewish Mayor of Kharkov Begins His Recovery in Israel

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Kharkov’s  Jewish Mayor Gennady Kernes is slowly overcoming near-fatal wounds and is on the road to recovery, Chabad-Lubavitch officials confirm.

While jogging in the wee hours of the morning last week, the Ukrainian official was shot by masked gunmen in an assassination attempt that nearly succeeded. His liver and lungs peppered with gunshot wounds, the critically wounded mayor was whisked away by medical airlift to Israel after emergency surgery in Kharkov. Following an initial stay at the private Elisha Hospital in Haifa, he was transferred to Rambam, where he underwent a second operation.

Mayor Kernes has now regained consciousness, and though still in very serious condition, he is recovering, officials said. “He woke up and he is speaking a little,” Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and Kharkov Chief Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz told Chabad.org . “G-d willing, I hope to visit him soon. Things are still delicate, but he’s getting better and we hope he gets out of it.”

He added that a Chabad emissary in Haifa has been a regular visitor at the mayor’s bedside.

The mayor has become a casualty of the violence that is rocking the country since pro-Russian separatists began disturbances weeks ago, with apparent encouragement from the Kremlin.

The city is located within the separatist province of Donetsk, which has declared itself to be an independent nation, the new “Republic of Donetsk.”

The Kremlin recently annexed Crimea, which seceded from eastern Ukraine last month. Russia now appears to have her eyes on Odessa, the third largest city in the country — located in western Ukraine — where dozens of people were killed in violence last week.

Jewish communities in Odessa have already made evacuation plans but have yet to carry them out; Jewish residents there and in Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, appear to be holding their breath and waiting to see what happens this coming weekend.

The ninth of May marks the victory of the former Soviet Union over the Nazis in World War II. It is a day that is still celebrated in eastern bloc nations and Soviet veterans — and is expected to ignite more violence in Ukraine.

It is also likely to raise anti-Semitic levels to new heights as well.

Kosher Nightclub to Open in Moscow

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

A Russian Jewish group is preparing to open a kosher “Shachar Club” nightclub in the center of Moscow Saturday night, the Russia-language Israeli news site izrus.co.il reported.

“Jewish youth in Moscow should have somewhere with an easy, relaxed atmosphere to hang out, discuss their identity, or just have fun,” a co-founder of the new club, Ilya Lipetsker, told Izrus. He said he hoped the club would help unite young Jews from different backgrounds.

The club reportedly will only offer kosher food and drink, and organizers wrote on Facebook that the new club will not be open on Shabbat.

Lipetsker helped establish the club with Alexander Kargin, who heads a group called Shachar, which organizes activities for the Jewish community, mostly with a pro-Israel orientation. Shachar has organized rallies in Russia to express solidarity with Israel, including during the 2011 Pillar of Defense operation in Gaza.

Lipetsker said the new club is meant to expose Moscow’s 100,000 Jews to “a slice of the Tel Aviv nightlife and thus allow Moscow Jews to immerse themselves in that scene.”

Teacher and Policeman Killed in Moscow School Shooting Spree

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

A student killed one policeman, a biology teacher, shot and wounded another policeman and took 20 pupils hostage before police overcame and arrested him Sunday in the northern end of Moscow.

“The person who took 20 people and a teacher hostage is a student in the upper classes at the same school,” an interior ministry spokesman said on Russia’s official television channel. “He has been neutralized and all the students have been freed.”

All of the children and teachers in the school have been evacuated from the school.


World-Renowned Pianist Evgeny Kissin to Get Israeli Citizenship

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The Interior Ministry will grant Evgeny Kissin, one of the world’s leading classical pianists and an enthusiastic Jewish supporter of Israel, Israeli citizenship event though he does not live in the country, the Jewish Agency said Thursday

Kissin, 42, told Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky a year ago that he was interested in acquiring Israeli citizenship in order to enable him to “fight for Israel not only as a Jew, but also as an Israeli” although he is not permanently based in Israel. Sharansky passed on the request to the government.

“There are other Jewish musicians who reach Kissin’s level of musical talent, but it isn’t every day that so acclaimed a musician joins the fight for Israel so openly and so uncompromisingly,” said Sharansky.

Upon receiving an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University in 2010, Kissin said, “Wherever we Jews live, our thoughts, hopes, and prayers are always with Israel and with our ancient and holy capital, Jerusalem. We Jews have every reason to be proud of the State of Israel.”

He will arrive in Israel this weekend in order to receive the citizenship and will perform in a one-time benefit concert at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.

Kissin was born in Moscow and began playing and improvising on the piano at the age of two. At the age of six, he enrolled in the Gnessin State Musical College, and he had his international debut at the age of 12 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Kissin has been called “one of the great pianists of our time” and has been presented with two Grammy Awards and Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music.

Netanyahu in Moscow: I Guarantee Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Speaking to an audience of Jewish community leaders in Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu stated that he guarantees that Iran will not have nuclear weapons, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Israel has been has been threatening, almost explicitly, that any agreement signed with Iran will not restrict Israel from acting unilaterally to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear breakout capability.

Netanyahu’s remarks came in the footsteps of Washington’s overwhelming silence in response to the latest Antisemitic remarks emanating from Iran.

Netanyahu expects that an agreement will be signed in Geneva, if not this week, then the next.

During Netanyahu’s meeting with Russian President Putin, he could not get Putin to back off from supporting the Geneva deal. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Netanyahu that Russia will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin in Moscow.

A senior Israeli official told Makor Rishon that Barack Obama is interested in Iran not having nuclear weapons while he sits in the White House, but it doesn’t bother him if they are at the edge of the breakout point.

The official reiterated that Israel’s position is that Iran must remove all capabilities for making nuclear weapons, while the US government only wants Iran to not assemble the weapon itself.

In the meantime, Iran is demanding the right to continue to enrich uranium for “civilian purposes”, and wait until the world is distracted with some other problem, to put the bombs together.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has been warning, during an official visit to Canada, that Iran would use ‘dirty bombs’ in its terror war against Western targets.

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

White House officials are saying that Israeli demands that Iran stop all enrichment would lead to war, according to a JTA report. The report says that given the choice of no enrichment, the White House believes Iranians would choose to build a bomb.

Which is exactly what Iran is going to try to do either way.

Opposing the White House is Senator Mark Kirk (R), who said that that Netanyahu’s assessment is correct, and that increasing, not reducing, sanctions at this point is what will force Iran to physically halt their nuclear weapons program.

Russian Navy’s First Port Visit to Egypt in 21 Years

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Suddenly, even Vladimir Putin looks more attractive.  He looks, at least, like he actually intends to fight radical Islamism – in some of its varieties anyway.  In theory, he has some pull with Iran.  He can exert a certain level of “check” on the Syria crisis.  His relatively well armed nation sits on the other side of Erdogan’s wild-card Turkey, which keeps bouncing from China to Iran to NATO and back again.  He’s not “Europe” – not really – but “Europe” acknowledges that he has to be given a place at the table.

Maybe he doesn’t look attractive, exactly; maybe the word is interesting.  Whatever it is, it’s showing up in real forms now, in regional nations’ decisions in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Last week came the flurry of reports that Putin would visit Egypt in November and announce a major arms sale, which will inevitably serve as something of a counter-smack to the U.S. decision to halt arms deliveries to Egypt a few weeks ago.

The newer news is from Monday, November 11, when Russia’s Slava-class missile cruiser Varyag pulled into Alexandria for the Russian navy’s first port visit in Egypt since 1992.  Pundits of varying quality have rushed to speculate that Moscow will soon have the use of Egyptian ports as bases in the region.  I doubt that; Egypt is too anxious to retain her stature and independence of action – properly so – and doesn’t “need” to accord Russia such privileges to keep useful ties going between the two of them.

In the current, comparative disarray of some Arab governments in the region, Egypt’s actually looks solid and moderate, and has the overt support of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, as well as the tacit support of Israel – all of which are well armed, well connected regional powers with common interests in a status quo.  The situation over which Al-Sisi presides is different from that of the Nasser regime in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was so eager for the great-power patronage of the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Russia, for her part, is unlikely to press this issue.  Between Syria, Greece, Cyprus, Montenegro, and Malta, the Russian navy has a lot of options now for making temporary landfalls for logistics.  Moscow wouldn’t necessarily even save money by concluding more literal “basing” agreements in the Mediterranean.

But I’m sure we can expect to see the Russian navy welcomed in Egyptian ports.  This makes a noteworthy, and regrettable, contrast with the U.S. Navy, which has been scarce in Egyptian ports in recent years – in spite of our two nations’ close relationship – largely because of the threat of terrorism.

Egypt, meanwhile, isn’t the only nation to roll out the welcome mat for the Russian navy in the past year.  In May, the Russian amphibious ship Azov arrived in Haifa for the first port visit ever by a Russian navy ship to Israel.  Russia and Israel have of course found some common ground in their opposition to radical Islamism, and the Netanyahu government has had a robust program of diplomatic outreach to Russia since it took over in the spring of 2009.  After Putin visited Jerusalem in June 2012 to pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, a naval port visit could hardly have been far behind.

Russian warships also visited Lebanon in March 2013, an exceedingly rare occurrence.  According to Russia’s defense ministry, the visit involved a frigate and two amphibious ships, and signified no intention on Moscow’s part to establish any permanent basing arrangement.

Cyprus hosted multiple visits by Russian warships in 2013, fueling the usual speculation that Moscow is negotiating for basing rights on the island.  (See here for more on Russia’s strategic approach to Cyprus.)  It has become routine in the last few years for Russian navy ships to visit ports in Greece and Malta.  Russian officials announced earlier this year that the navy’s newly constituted (or, in effect, reconstituted) Mediterranean squadron would use a port in Montenegro as well, referring to the port of Tivat (which for many years during the Cold War was a Yugoslav navy base, used as a Mediterranean base by the Soviet navy).  A September 2013 press release on the upcoming activities of amphibious landing ship Yamal indicated the ship would visit Greece and Montenegro this fall.

Did Your Shul Pocket $660,000 from Maftir Yona?

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

“Auctioning” off the honor of being called to the Torah and for the privilege of reading the “Haftorah,” or “Maftir” section of the Prophets, is common in the Diaspora and also in many urban and more affluent communities in Israel, but it takes a lot to top an unidentified Moscow millionaire, or perhaps billionaire, who paid $660,000 for the honor to read the Book of Yona (Jonah).

Hadrei Haredim reported that the money was pledged at Moscow’s central syangogue for Jewish institutions and a yeshiva.

Several Israeli Hassidic synagogues did not do as well but can’t complain. Tzvi Frank of the United States paid $17,000 to read ‘Maftir Yona” during afternoon prayers on Yom Kipper at the Navdorna yeshiva synagogue, according to Kikkar Shabbat. Navdorna is a town that was in Poland between the two world wars and now is Ukraine.

At the Erlau Hassidic synagogue, the same honor was “sold” for $28,000 but Bnei Brak’s Luvlin yeshiva settled for “only” $6,200. However, one person paid nearly twice that sum for opening the Holy Ark continuing Torah scrolls.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/and-how-much-did-your-shul-profit-from-maftir-yona/2013/09/15/

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