Chief Rabbi Of Moscow Leaves Russia After Refusing To Publicly Support Ukraine War

The chief rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt, has left Russia after he refused a request from state officials to publicly support Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, his daughter-in-law says.

Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt tweeted on June 7 that the rabbi and his spouse left Russia in March and are currently in Israel.

"They are now in exile from the community they loved, built, and raised their children in over 33 years," Chizhik-Goldschmidt's tweet says.

The Zurich-born Goldschmidt had served in Moscow since 1989. He was elected chief rabbi of Moscow in 1993.

After his departure from Moscow in March, he was reelected to the post.

Berel Lazar, Russia's chief rabbi who is also chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Commonwealth of Independent States, remains in Russia despite publicly opposing the conflict in Ukraine. It was not known whether state officials have asked him to publicly support the war.

With reporting by The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel