Amidst the escalating tensions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the former Chief Rabbi of Moscow, issued a strong plea on Saturday to his fellow Jews to promptly depart from Russia.
Rabbi Goldschmidt, who began his Russian service in 1993 and presently leads the Conference of European Rabbis, previously described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “catastrophe” for Jews residing in the region. In an interview with The Guardian last year, he stated that throughout history, Russia has witnessed government officials fueling antisemitism to “redirect the anger and discontent of the masses.”
The rabbi’s call for immediate action comes after the Russian Justice Ministry declared him a “foreign agent” on Friday, as reported by The Times of Israel. This development further underscores the increasingly precarious situation faced by Jewish religious figures and communities within Russia.
In light of these developments, Rabbi Goldschmidt’s urgent appeal serves as a stark reminder of the evolving landscape and potential risks associated with Jews remaining in Russia.