Tag Archives: Former Soviet Union

Honorable Discharge, Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel, 1992

Look at the expression on this man’s face. How would you describe it—fear, sadness, confusion, joy? He has just arrived in Israel from the former Soviet Union. Under communism, Soviet Jews were not allowed to practice their religion openly and were often denied the right to immigrate to the U.S. or Israel. But after Gorbachev (the Soviet president) …

Let my people go, NY, USA

Let My People Go, New York City, 1987

These people are engaging in the important mitzvah of Pidyon Sh’vuyim (the Redeeming of Captives). At a demonstration in New York City, they push for the release of thousands of Jews from the Soviet Union. Notice what it says on the kids’ signs. Where have you heard these words before? Under Soviet rule, Jews weren’t allowed to …

Synagogue Attic, Riga, Latvia, 1991

Before World War II, there were many synagogues in Riga, the capital of Latvia. In fact, until the 20th century, Eastern Europe was a center for Jewish life and learning. But today, only one synagogue still stands in Riga. And just a handful of elderly Jews, like the man in this picture, still attend services. During the communist …