BC Bookmarks

An elegy for Russia’s Jewry

A richly journalistic portrait of Russia’s dwindling, but still vibrant and influential Jewish community, is presented in a new book by Boston College Professor Maxim D. Shrayer. Based on new evidence and a series of interviews, With or Without You: The Prospect for Today’s Jews in Russia (Academic Studies Press, 2017) is both an exploration of the texture of Jewish life in Putin’s Russia and an émigré’s moving elegy for Russia’s Jews—a group which 40 years ago constituted one of the world’s largest Jewish populations. With or Without You yields insights into the complex situation of Russian Jews today: about the minority who have remained, against all odds, in their mother country and about Russia, a country continuously losing its Jews. Shrayer has authored and edited more than 15 books of criticism, biography, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and translation, including the memoirs Waiting for America: A Story of Emigration and Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story (2013 National Jewish Book Award finalist) and the story collection Yom Kippur in Amsterdam. More from BC News.