Moscow’s exiled chief rabbi: Jews should leave Russia


Eastern Europe


Goldschmidt. Photo AFP, David Gannon

Moscow’s exiled chief rabbi, Pinchas Goldschmidt, says Jews should leave Russia while they still can before they are made scapegoats for the hardship caused by the war in Ukraine.

He says so in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian.

According to Goldschmidt, the current political system under President Putin is in danger. “When we look back over Russian history, whenever the political system was in danger, you saw the government trying to redirect the anger and discontent of the masses towards the Jewish community.”

Goldschmidt thinks it is, therefore, the best option for Russian Jews to leave Russia. “We’re seeing rising antisemitism while Russia is returning to a new kind of Soviet Union, and step by step, the iron curtain is coming down again.”

The Guardian reports that Russia’s Jews have emigrated in tens of thousands during the past 100 years. According to the 1926 census, there were 2,672,000 Jews in the then-Soviet Union, 59 per cent of them in Ukraine. Today only about 165,000 Jews remain in the Russian Federation out of a total population of 145 million.


As CNE reported earlier, Goldschmidt fled Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine. In his absence, several forces in the Russian Jewish community unsuccessfully tried to remove him from power. After Goldschmidt entered Israel, he withdrew as chief rabbi in Russia. He had been in office for almost 30 years.



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