Archive: September 11, 2005 - September 17, 2005

The Truth About Gary

In the intro to this blog, I promised to reveal why Gary Matoso, the photographer for the original Russian Chronicles, didn't come along this time. Gary was the driving force behind that project -- he came up with the idea,...

By Lisa Dickey | September 16, 2005; 6:15 PM ET | Comments (5)

Birobidzhan: The Jewish Community Lives On

David and I went down to School No. 2 yesterday, which in 1995 offered Hebrew and Yiddish lessons as well as Jewish culture and history. Then, the school was divided into Russian and Jewish sections, with the Jewish section numbering...

By Lisa Dickey | September 16, 2005; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (14)

Birobidzhan: Tracking Down Faces From 1995

In the past few days, as we've gathered information on Birobidzhan, we've also tried to track down people I met in 1995. I wrote about Boris Kaufman at the old synagogue, and reported that his mentor, Oleg Shavulski, left for...

By Lisa Dickey | September 14, 2005; 4:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

Birobidzhan - New Rabbi, New Synagogue

In 1995, I found myself wondering whether the Jewish community in Birobidzhan could survive. Most Jews here seemed to be clamoring to leave. Unemployment was rampant and those who had jobs often weren't paid on time, if at all. For...

By Lisa Dickey | September 13, 2005; 6:04 AM ET | Comments (6)

Birobidzhan - Back to the Synagogue

Birobidzhan has one of the more unusual histories of any Russian city I've been in. Founded in 1927 as a "homeland" for Soviet Jews, it was declared the capital of the new Jewish Autonomous Region in 1934. Unfortunately for the...

By Lisa Dickey | September 12, 2005; 8:17 AM ET | Comments (6)

Birobidzhan - The Search for a Room

Ten years ago, when Gary and I were in Birobidzhan, we ran into some trouble with the law. The police came poking around one day while we were out, asking our hosts, Maya and Sasha, about the American journalists they...

By Lisa Dickey | September 11, 2005; 4:53 AM ET | Comments (7)


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