Russian chief rabbi: Jews are safe here long-term

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September 21, 2015 02:08
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Russian Jewry is completely safe long-term and does not face any significant emigration, Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, undercutting two seemingly diametrically opposed remarks by senior communal officials.

In April, Alexander Boroda, the head of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, warned of grave danger to Jews if Russian President Vladimir Putin is swept from power.

“The Jews of Russia must realize the dangers inherent in the possible collapse of the Putin government, understand the rules of the game and be aware of the limitations,” Boroda told attendees at a Limmud conference in Moscow.

In an interview with the Post in May, however, Boruch Gorin, a senior figure within the federation who frequently speaks on its behalf, said rising Russian immigration to Israel is being driven partly by anxieties over Moscow’s increasingly authoritarian policies.

“The political situation of the last years has become much more tight than it was before,” he said.

"People are unsure of their future and do not know if Russia will “be closed as before in Soviet times,” he explained, adding that the pressure applied to opposition groups has been worrying to members of the Jewish community, many of whom are liberals.

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