Shliach to Omsk Siberia Being Deported


An Israeli-born rabbi serving as the chief rabbi for the Jewish community in Siberia is facing deportation, after apparently being accused of espionage.

Rabbi Asher Krichevsky, a Chabad emissary in Omsk and chief rabbi of the Siberian Jewish community, has faced deportation attempts by local authorities for years amid accusations he poses a threat to “Russia’s constitutional order”.

Since 2001, the 40-year-old Rabbi Krichevsky has worked as an emissary in Russia, alongside his older brother, Rabbi Dan Krichevsky, the Chief Rabbi of Ufa.

Beginning in 2014, Russian authorities have attempted annul residency permits for Rabbi Krichevsky and his family, citing a series of alleged infractions and claiming that the rabbi had “attempted to destroy Russia’s constitutional order” – a charge typically used in espionage cases.

Russian media outlets suggested Rabbi Krichevsky had in fact served as a spy, though no evidence was ever presented against him either by immigration officials or in court.

Since 2003, eight other rabbis working in Israel have been forced out of the country under similar circumstances.

Earlier this year, Krichevsky’s residency permit was nullified on the basis of information provided by the Russian FSB security agency, a court said.

Last month, Krichevsky appealed the decision, arguing in part that no reason or clear accusation was made to justify the nullification.

An appeals court rejected the motion, however, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

“It’s a humiliating and insulting practice,” the president of the Russian Jewish Congress Yury Kanner told AFP this June. He questioned how Krichevsky could pose a threat to the state.

“What kind of (constitutional) order is this if it can be threatened by rabbis?”

In January this year in the Ulyanovsk region on the Volga, US rabbi Yosef Marozov, along with his wife and six children, lost their residency permits after Marozov was accused by the FSB of planning or supporting “terrorist activity.” The Supreme Court rejected his appeal.

In February last year, the same happened to Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, a US citizen in the Black Sea city of Sochi, who was also accused of posing a threat to national security.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, which nominates rabbis to work in Russian regions, said the recent deportations reflected “a new scenario.”

“Previously, (rabbis) got expelled after being accused of minor violations like traffic offences. Today, expulsions are linked to accusations from the secret services,” said the federation’s spokesman, Rabbi Boruch Gorin.

“Their case papers are classified as secret and even lawyers cannot access them. It’s easier to get rid of a foreigner when there are no concrete charges,” he said.


  • 1. Anonymous victim wrote:

    Chalk up another one for Rabbi Lazar. Helping to return communism as a puppet who gives legitimacy. Lazar was never appointed shliach by the Rebbe, but made himself deals with the commander in chief over there, to consolidate power. He chases out anyone not willing to toe the line. Good job lemming.

    • 2. Ezra wrote:

      Every word of your comment is a lie, including “a.” To start with, he most certainly was appointed as a shliach by the Rebbe.

  • 3. Rabbi Lazar wrote:

    Where is your letter of “being alarmed” by the treatment of your country to your own people?

    • 4. Berel wrote:

      Lay off Lazar, you pick battles you can win.

      Lazar knows better his limits in dealing with Putin then any of us do.

      Putin is an absolute dictator, who can shut down all operations at any time if wrongly provoked (c’v).

      Lazar is also as good with Putin as a Jew can possibly be, and it’s possible he’s big enough to at least catch the attention of the Swedes.

    • 5. Ezra wrote:

      Where is your sechel? Do you think that when dealing with ex-KGB folk, an open letter is going to help? Do you think that because R. Lazar isn’t splashing everything he’s doing over all the headlines, that he’s doing nothing?

  • 7. A Proud Jew wrote:

    Nothing good comes out of treating G-ds chosen people wrongly Russia better take it back and stop playing with fire!

  • 8. My father, A"H, was a historian wrote:

    He was fond of saying, “History always repeats itself.”

    About Russia he said: “For every 10 or so years that Russia had some semblence of freedom, it was followed by decades of tyranny.”

  • 9. st325 wrote:

    can’t help laughing at the fact that we want him to stay in Siberia and he’s being sent OUT of Siberia.

  • 12. Lay off Lazar wrote:

    Whatever he’s doing it isn’t working. Reading all this stuff makes me ask IF he is doing much at all, but I guess we will never know. These animals must have Putin’s support if they can deport the brother of the Chief Rabbi of the area.

  • 13. Go-ds right hand man wrote:

    The Russians aren’t stupid, and to find that a government wants to control religious leaders and influences isn’t unheard of or unusual. The USA isn’t like other countries the USA is the leader with freedoms and rights. The USA allows religious leaders from all over the world. Russia doesn’t ! Review history and be realistic ! While moshiach times are happening it doesn’t every wolf and lamb can live side by side !
    Respect reality ! Who the heck would want to reside in Siberia ? Leave no Jew behind and come to eretz Yisroel ! Bmhayre byamaynu ! Don’t waste my time on power struggles ! The go-d of Yisroel our father is the most powerful and mightiest and most awesome Hallellooyay ! We’re going to the promised land !

  • 14. Haporesh succos Shalom alaynu Val kol wrote:

    And the poritz said “because I feel like it”


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