Former Russian chief rabbi concerned about Jewish minority in Russia


Eastern Europe


Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with chief rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and President of the Federation of Jewish Communities Alexander Boroda at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photo AFP, Mikhail Metzel

The political and economic situation of minorities is becoming increasingly difficult for minorities in Russia, former chief rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt warned during his visit to Vienna on Tuesday.

Even though he has hope that the Jewish community in Russia will survive, he points out that it will become smaller and poorer, the Erzdiözese Wien writes on its website. Goldschmidt points out that many people lose their jobs as international companies leave the country because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Changed situation

The former chief-rabbi of Russia visited Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in Vienna on Tuesday during his trip to Austria for a meeting of Orthodox rabbi wives. Goldschmidt and Schönborn conversed together about the changed situation in the world.

Tens of thousands of Jews have left Russia since the invasion started, Goldschmidt says, as reported by Kathpress that interviewed Goldschmidt after his visit. According to the former rabbi, the Russian government is becoming increasingly anti-Semitic.


Earlier, Goldschmidt had already advised Russian Jews to leave the country while they still could. He added that he feared the government would return to the Soviet model.

Because of his opposition to the Russian invasion, Goldschmidt left Russia and went to Israel, most likely for security reasons. Since then, he has laid down his office as chief rabbi of Russia.



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