In an emergency conference scheduled for Monday, 75 Russian rabbis will gather in Moscow to restate their obligation of "not abandoning their communities and staying with them to provide spiritual, psychological and emotional support, no matter how complicated things get."
According to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, an organization affiliated with the Chabad movement, the rabbis will be representing 400 of their colleagues from across the country.
The federation states that one of the goals of the conference is to counter the assumption that the Jews of Russia want to leave the country.
“There is a lot of fear and uncertainty for the Jews in Russia, they are told by people outside Russia that their only option is to give up their homes and lives and flee abroad, This has only been compounded by what appears to be the Russian government’s attempt to shut down the Jewish Agency. Yet the vast majority of Russian Jews have chosen to remain.” the federation stated.
“Meanwhile, some voices in the West have demanded that rabbis sacrifice the Jewish community’s safety by publicly attacking the government,” it continued.
According to a report by The Jerusalem Post, since the beginning of their country's invasion of Ukraine, Russia's rabbis have chosen to stay with their communities while calling for peace. This is in contrast to many non-Jewish clergies, who either openly praise the incursion or have chosen to escape the country.
At the conference, the rabbis will pledge to "continue leading their communities and not abandoning them during these difficult times," the federation said, adding that they will also issue a joint appeal for peace and an immediate end to the bloodshed.
The federation's conference comes less than a week after the sentencing of Jewish anti-Putin politician, Leonid Gozman, who will receive prison time for comparing Joseph Stalin's regime to that of the Nazis.