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Sunday, March 6 • 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Chabad in Russia: Hasidic Power in the Post-Soviet Space

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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chabad-Lubavitch has established itself as the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. Its reach extends to some 140 cities across Russia and the country’s chief rabbi, a Lubavitcher named Berel Lazar, maintains close ties with President Vladimir Putin. Through its wealth and enthusiastic activism, the ultra-Orthodox movement has profoundly shaped the religious, cultural and political agendas inside a Jewish community that has an extremely complicated relationship with its ex-Soviet identity and past. This session will begin with an overview of post-Soviet Russian Jewish history--a fascinating story of renewal and growth. Then through lecture and discussion we will examine not only the controversial politics of Chabad’s rise to power, but how the movement speaks so effectively to the peculiar sensibilities of post-Soviet Russian Jewry as well. Tapper will share findings from his own ethnographic fieldwork inside Moscow’s Chabad synagogues.

avatar for Joshua Tapper

Joshua Tapper

Joshua Tapper is journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, the Jewish Daily Forward, and Tablet magazine, among other publications. Currently a correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tapper has been on staff at the Toronto... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm EST