A Stolen Synagogue Seat and the Fate of a Russian-Jewish Family

Born in 1893 in a small, backwater Russian shtetl, Doba-Mera Medvedeva began writing her memoirs—filled with rich and detailed descriptions of Jewish life—while living in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Her grandson, the Israeli historian Michael Beizer, later published these Russian-language memoirs, which have recently been translated into English by Alice Nakhimovsky. The passage below describes the arrival in the shtetl of Medvedeva’s uncle Alter, who would use his relative wealth to exploit her family. Crucial to this passage is the mizra, or eastern wall of a synagogue, where the most desirable seats in the sanctuary could be purchased; sitting near the eastern wall was the ultimate sign of status:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Russian Jewry, Shtetl, Synagogue

When It Comes to the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, China Sides against Israel—and against the Jews

June 23 2021

In the rhetoric of Iran’s ayatollahs, the United States is the “Great Satan” while the Jewish state is the “Little Satan.” The Chinese Communist Party seems to have adopted a similar approach during the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, writes Tuvia Gering:

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Anti-Semitism, China, Israel-China relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict