LUGANSK, UKRAINE — In an unheated synagogue with no running water, a dozen Jews are trying to keep warm as temperatures here veer toward the single digits.
Not moving too much helps keep the warmth under their thick coats, they say, a technique developed as the group gathered at least once a week to maintain a sense of community in a city torn by conflict between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army.
“We usually stay for about two hours,” says Igor Leonidovich, the synagogue’s gabbai, or caretaker. “We pray for peace. In this cold, two hours is enough.”