We’re starting a new stage in Europe in 2022, which hopefully will be a positive one.
The crisis in the region of the FSU countries, especially Ukraine and Russia, may have dramatic effects on the size and types of Jewish communities in Europe as we knew it at the beginning of 2022: not only are Ukrainians fleeing for their lives, but also Russian Jews who are afraid of a modern-day “Iron Curtain” that was in effect till 1991. I spoke to many Russian Jewish leaders in the past week, in face-to-face conversations in neighboring countries since it is too dangerous for them to speak about these sensitive topics through regular communications systems. Many of them are sure they are being followed and tapped, frightened and fearful for the lives of their families and friends. “Ninety percent of the young Jews in our communities are either out of Russia or want to leave,” said one of the Russian Jewish community leaders this week in Poland. “They see no future in Russia. It is sad since we’ve been building amazing infrastructure for the past 30 years – and now it may all be demolished.”