Exiled Moscow chief rabbi: Jews should leave Russia before they are scapegoated

Amid rising antisemitism, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt warns that historical precedent indicates Jewish community will be blamed for country’s problems

1 January 2023

Moscow’s exiled former chief rabbi, Pinchas Goldschmidt, has warned Russian Jews that they may become scapegoats for hardships brought on by Moscow’s sputtering war in Ukraine, and encouraged them to leave the country.

In an interview with Britain’s The Guardian, Goldschmidt said there was historical precedent that shows the Jewish community could end up being blamed.

“When we look back over Russian history, whenever the political system was in danger you saw the government trying to redirect the anger and discontent of the masses towards the Jewish community,” he said. “We saw this in tsarist times and at the end of the Stalinist regime.”

“We’re seeing rising antisemitism while Russia is going back to a new kind of Soviet Union, and step by step the iron curtain is coming down again. This is why I believe the best option for Russian Jews is to leave,” he said.

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