The Edelkopf family in Sochi, Russia.

Shliach Ordered to Leave Russia for ‘National Security’

An American-born Chabad rabbi who has served the Jewish community of Sochi in southwestern Russia since 2002 was ordered to leave the country within three days under a provision dealing with threats to national security.

from the JTA:

Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, a father of seven who grew up in the United States and lived in Israel before settling in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi as Chabad’s envoy there, wrote on Facebook on Sunday that he was informed of the decision without receiving further information on specific allegations.

Amid a crackdown in Russia on organizations with foreign funding, Edelkopf’s staying permit was revoked in December, according to Interfax. He lost an appeal at the regional court, forcing him to leave Russia by Feb. 11. He has denied any involvement in political issues or crimes.

The Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia condemned the move. Boruch Gorin, a spokesperson for the federation, said it was “far from an isolated incident” during an interview with AFP. He added that at least seven rabbis have been forced to leave Russia in recent years for alleged immigration violations.

Click here to continue reading at the JTA.


  • Scary

    That is really scary.
    Forcing someone so SUCCESSFUL to leave Russia for trumped up chargers is a reminder of the past.
    Please Hashem watch over your children

  • shlomo

    it never happened when shaliah is American, only with Israeli citizens. let’s imagine that someone from Russia came to US on tourist Visa and start work as chief rabay, involve in local politics etc. for sure he was deported immediately

  • Anonymous

    What would the Rebbe prefer Shluchim or the library?
    Thank you Rabbi B.S. Cunin for helping ‘out’ the Shluchim in Russia (sarcasm)

    Someone in the know.

  • Moishe pupik

    Chabad is a national security risk? How could that be? They kiss Putin’s feet three times a day.

  • To Incredulous

    If I’m not mistaken, there were other Shluchim kicked out way before Trump had anything to do with politics. No need to get him involved.