Moscow Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt was pressured by Russian authorities to publicly support the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine but refused to do so, his daughter-in-law said on Wednesday.
Pressured to support the war
Journalist Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, the wife of Manhattan's Benjamin Goldschmidt and daughter-in-law of CER President and Moscow's Chief Rabbi, shared on Twitter a behind-the-scenes look at how and why they fled Russia to Israel.
"I can finally share that my in-laws, Moscow Chief Rabbi Pinchas & Rebbetzin Dara Goldschmidt, have been put under pressure by authorities to publicly support the 'special operation' in Ukraine — and refused."Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt
Can finally share that my in-laws, Moscow Chief Rabbi @PinchasRabbi & Rebbetzin Dara Goldschmidt, have been put under pressure by authorities to publicly support the 'special operation' in Ukraine — and refused. pic.twitter.com/Gy7zgI3YkJ— Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt (@avitalrachel) June 7, 2022
Chizhik-Goldschmidt explained that her in-laws "flew to Hungary two weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They are now in exile from the community they loved, built & raised their children in, over 33 years." She revealed that "he was re-elected today by the MEPO community."
"They first traveled to Eastern Europe, fundraising for refugees through CER and then Jerusalem, where his father was hospitalized at the time."Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt
Chizhik-Goldschmidt added that "the pain & fear in our family the last few months is beyond words. The sounds of the Moscow Choral Synagogue ring in our ears…I’ll never forget our engagement there in 2014, & taking our children there, on Shavuot 2018."
"We are grateful our parents are safe; we're worried sick over many others."Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt
Reelected as chief rabbi
The Jerusalem Post learned on Tuesday that Goldschmidt was re-elected as Moscow's Chief Rabbi for another seven years in the prestigious position.
Many rabbis and Jewish officials have been involved in attempts to have the community vote for another rabbi instead of Goldschmidt but pressure from senior Israeli rabbis, including the two chief rabbis, had succeeded - and he now has seven more years as chief rabbi. According to a source in the Jewish community, "The coup attempt failed."
Sources in Russia's Jewish community also hinted that officials in the government were interested in overruling Goldschmidt.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.