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Soviet Union

Ettinger’s Redemption Ettinger’s Redemption
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

I am not sure I would have read Shmuel Ettinger if the award-winning Israeli film Footnote, which centers on the relationship between a father and son who are both members of the Talmud department of the Hebrew University, hadn’t whetted my appetite for gossip about that august institution.
The Soul of the Sabra The Soul of the Sabra
Thursday, September 6, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For those who have been taught—by Peter Beinart or some other recent chronicler of Israel’s history—that Zionism only began to go awry after 1967, Patrick Tyler’s new book might come as a shock.  Israel’s aggressive territorial ambitions didn’t emerge after the Six-Day War, Tyler argues, but antedated that (to his mind) avoidable conflict by more than a decade. 
Neologism and Nationalism Neologism and Nationalism
Thursday, August 30, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

There has never been agreement about Zionism.  Not only is the idea of Jewish nationalism controversial, the very word “Zionism” arouses unique passions, as a recent controversy highlights.
The Aircraft Plot The Aircraft Plot
Friday, June 15, 2012 by Malka Margolin | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Forty-two years ago today, on June 15, 1970, a group of Soviet dissidents gathered at Smolny Airport outside Leningrad.  They had bought all the seats on a 12-passenger aircraft headed 240 miles northwest to Priozersk, near the Finnish border.
The Jewish Left, between History and Revelation The Jewish Left, between History and Revelation
Monday, June 11, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The association of Jews with leftist ideas and movements has been a fixture of Western politics for the past 150 years. But is the relationship logical and necessary, or is it historical and contingent?
Evil Genius Evil Genius
Thursday, February 23, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Very little anti-Semitic literature is new; most of its tropes seem ageless, continually recombined and updated by haters reacting only dimly to their actual circumstances. Few anti-Semitic works exhibit literary or lesser, sociological gifts. The one exception is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Hear, O Friends of Israel Hear, O Friends of Israel
Thursday, February 2, 2012 by Daniel Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1987, exactly a quarter-century ago, the appearance of a work of Jewish history caused a stir. For one thing, the author was not Jewish; for another, the book was unashamedly supportive of the State of Israel, which even then was enough to provoke hostility, especially on the Left.
Hidden Master Hidden Master
Thursday, August 25, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The saddest saga in Jewish literary history involves some 500 Soviet Yiddish artists who were stolen away by Stalin's henchmen in the late 1940's. They met a tragic fate after twenty years under a relentlessly repressive regime whose creation they had greeted with utopian fervor.
The Night of the Murdered Poets The Night of the Murdered Poets
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On August 12, 1952, thirteen major Soviet Jewish figures were executed for espionage, bourgeois nationalism, "lack of true Soviet spirit," and treason, including a plot to hand the Crimea over to American and Zionist imperialists.
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes Through Soviet Jewish Eyes
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by William Meyers | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It is never not depressing: Any tale from the Soviet Union has to be depressing, whether it is conceived of as grotesque folly or simple tragedy, and if Jews are involved, all the more so. Jews are implicated in the creation of the Soviet Union, as its ardent supporters, and, inevitably, as victims of its apparatus of repression.
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Editors' Picks
A Jewish Disneyland? Ellen Barry, New York Times. With Moscow's new Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Vladimir Putin is appealing to Jews who fled the country to return—while Shimon Peres thanks Russia for "a thousand years of hospitality."
Stalin’s Jewish Spies Baruch Sterman, Rarest Blue. While Stalin was persecuting their coreligionists at home, a disproportionate number of Jews dutifully served him by spying on America’s nuclear research.
Golda, Golda, Get Lost Tamara Zieve, Jerusalem Post. In 1971, young Israelis of Mizrahi descent styled themselves as Israeli Black Panthers and declared war “against the Ashkenazi government.”
Israel: The Home Video Michal Shmulovich, Times of Israel. A new film brings together amateur footage spanning 60 years—from Jews sailing to pre-state Palestine to an eight-couple wedding to Menachem Begin making peace with Anwar Sadat.
The Visionary Joshua Runyan, Tamar Runyan, The true scope of businessman and philanthropist Sami Rohr’s charity is still not fully known, and perhaps may never be.
Jewish Studies without Jews Geoff Vasil, The Lithuanian government lavishes funding on museums dedicated to commemorating the country's extinct Jewish culture.  The problem is that Lithuania's Jewish culture is still alive.
Soviet Spring Claire Berlinski, Tablet. A new book claims that Soviet interference in the Middle East has had far greater impact than is generally acknowledged—stretching to the current collapse of its former client states.
How the Left Turned against the Jews Nick Cohen, Standpoint. As Communism gave way to anti-colonialism, Israel remained a target for special rage on the Left, even though Zionism was both a settler movement and an anti-colonial movement.
Nesting Dolls Alina Dain Sharon, Jewish Journal. Twenty years after their Russian exodus, the lives of Jews who emigrated to the U.S., Israel, and Germany differ markedly from those who stayed in Russia.
Russian Renaissance David Rozenson, Tikvah Fund. In an interview, the director of the Avi Chai Foundation in the Former Soviet Union speaks of escaping the USSR as a boy, and of returning as an adult to rebuild Jewish life (Part I; Part II is here).