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Soviet Jewry

The Politics of Yiddish The Politics of Yiddish
Monday, April 29, 2013 by Ruth Wisse | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jews who hold on to, or reach back for, the Yiddishkeyt of Yiddish yearn not merely for a declining language but for the social and political ideal that seems embedded in it.  
The Twenty-Seventh Man The Twenty-Seventh Man
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On the night of August 12, 1952, a group of Yiddish writers was executed on Joseph Stalin’s orders for the crime of writing while Jewish.  The executions were the tragic culmination of the grand romance between Jewish intellectuals and Marxism.  
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.
Editors' Picks
Surviving Stalin Ben Cohen, Tablet. Stalin's "Doctors' Plot" is now seen by many historians as the opening move of a grand plan to deport and eliminate Soviet Jews.  They were saved only by Stalin's own death.
How We Freed Soviet Jewry Allison Hoffman, Tablet. Twenty-five years after 250,000 Americans gathered in Washington to demand freedom for the refuseniks, participants reflect on how momentous their march turned out to be.  (Oral history)
Balfour and the Bolsheviks Eddy Portnoy, Sh’ma. History remembers 1917 for the Balfour Declaration’s support of Zionism.  But Jews in 1917 were more interested in another event of that same week: the October Revolution.
End of an Era? , Washington Post. Last Friday, the House of Representatives repealed the 1974 Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions, enacted to promote the freedom of Soviet Jews to emigrate.  But Russia's record on human rights is still a problem.  
The Mitzvah of Conversion Haim Amsalem, Institute for Jewish Ideas. It is not only permissible but a mitzvah, the Sepharic rabbi argues, to make it easy for people of Jewish ancestry—like Israel’s Russian immigrants—to convert to Judaism.
Seventy Years of Soviet Zion David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times. Despite predictions of its demise, Birobidzhan, the autonomous Jewish region in Siberia founded by Stalin, still has a Jewish character and is seeing a rebirth in Jewish culture.