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A Journey to Kiev with Purpose

Rabbi HoffmanThe last time I thought about the plight of Jews in the former Soviet Union was in 1997 at the Pesach seder of my girlfriend’s (and soon to be fiancé’s) family. We sat around the table and read line by line from the booklet their family had been using for decades. As the reading made its way to me, I was given the part about modern oppression and specifically about the still oppressed and not yet free Jews from behind the Iron Curtain. At that evening’s celebration of freedom, the Soviet Union had already collapsed over nearly a decade earlier, and some 1.3 million Jews had long since emigrated from Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Eastern Europe to Israel and the United States. Needless to say, we chuckled at the anachronism and moved promptly into the maror dipped in charoset step of the seder.

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Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780