Posted by: becketfund | April 11, 2008

Uzbekistan: Refuses to Renew Rabbi’s Accreditation

TASHKENT – Uzbekistan’s Justice Ministry has refused to renew the accreditation of the community’s Chief Rabbi and one of his colleagues, while simultaneously threatening to revoke the legal status of a local Jewish charity, citing unspecified “violations in activity,”  Forum 18 reported on April 11. The Jewish community now fears that the rabbi, David Gurevich, will be forced to leave the country. Gurevich, who was born in Russia but holds U.S. and Israeli citizenships, has worked in Uzbekistan since 1990. Under his leadership, Tashkent’s Jewish community, which numbers about 20,000, has opened a yeshiva, a kolel, and a day school, and organized summer camps, youth groups, and charities. Gurevich was subjected to similar difficulties in 1998, when authorities told him they would not renew his accreditation, though they later renewed it and apologized for the “mistake”.

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