Russia Will Move Disputed Chabad Schneerson Collection to Jewish Museum

Hasidic Trove Will Be on Display in Moscow

getty images

By JTA

Published March 28, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Russia plans to move Jewish texts claimed by the Chabad Lubavitch movement to Moscow’s newly opened Jewish museum next month.

Russian Deputy Culture Minister Grigory Ivliyev told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday that the disputed Schneerson library will be moved to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

“We will start moving the books to the Tolerance Center in April,” Ivliyev said. “We intend to use the opportunities of the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Center for displaying books from the Schneerson library. We are digitizing and restoring the books and are preparing them for broader use.”

A U.S. judge in January ordered Russia to pay $50,000 a day in fines for failing to honor a 2010 ruling by the U.S. District Court in Washington to hand over the historic collection of 12,000 books and 50,000 documents to the New York-based movement.

Since 1991, leaders of the group have been trying to regain possession of the library of Rabbi Joseph I. Schneerson, who led the Chabad-Lubavitch movement before his death in 1950.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the texts are part of Russian heritage and will not leave Russia.

Part of the collection was nationalized by Bolsheviks in 1918 and eventually joined the Russian State Library collection. Schneerson managed to take the other part of the collection out of the Soviet Union while emigrating in the 1930s.

About 25,000 pages of manuscripts from the collection were later seized by the Nazis, and then regained by the Red Army and handed over to the Russian State Military Archive.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.