Support The Moscow Times!

Racial Discrimination Row Hits Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center blamed the job posting, which listed “Slavic appearance” as a requirement, on an HR contractor. Zurab Dzhavakhadze / TASS

Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center has sparked controversy with a job posting for a bartender that listed “Slavic appearance” as one of its requirements.

The museum, a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art complex that opened in 2012, blamed an HR contractor for violating its principles and said it has terminated its contract with the company.

“I’m inclined to think of what happened as an open provocation rather than a real demand,” Alexander Boroda, head of the museum and president of the Federation of Jewish Communities, said in an open letter Sunday.

“All this not only goes against our beliefs but is something that we as a cultural and social organization have been confronting for almost eight years,” Boroda said.

Nina Dymshitz, the museum’s PR director, attributed the questionable ad’s wording to “the contractor’s mistake” that she said was either a misunderstanding or its own creativity.

“We would have never placed an ad like that,” Dymshitz told Russia’s The Insider news website, adding that the museum has a diverse staff.

The vacancy on the Restojob website was deleted after a public outcry.

“Ads like this, which are sadly found in various fields, cause only a sharp backlash and even disgust from any decent, sane person,” Boroda said in the open letter.

Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or nationality is an entrenched practice in Russia and is prevalent in apartment rentals.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.