A synagogue in Birobidzhan City, the administrative center of the Jewish autonomous region, Russia. ANNA YEROSHENKO / AFP

The Other Jewish Homeland at the End of the World

Rabbi Eli Riss is determined to make Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Oblast – the Soviet Union’s attempt to counter Zionism in the 1930s – Jewish again, starting with the regional capital, Birobidzhan

Arriving in Birobidzhan on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the first thing you notice is the large sign in Yiddish on top of the Constructivist train station. And as you exit the station, there’s a fountain and...

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