The roots of Russian Jewish literature reach back into the Pale of Settlement of the pre-revolutionary era. The vibrant cosmopolitan city of Odessa on the Black Sea provided an important cultural model for the style and political stance of Jewish literature written in Russian. Although Stalin’s purges and the second World War affected all social levels and ethnic groups within the Soviet Union, the Russian Jewish historical experience provided a highly distinctive perspective onto these tragic events, as reflected in the uncompromising poetry of Osip Mandelstam, and the path-breaking fiction and memoirs of Vasily Grossman and Yevgenia Ginzburg. The work of contemporary Russian Jewish authors and filmmakers reflects the complexity of the immigrant experience in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. We will also examine the diverse responses of writers to the present-day redrawing of the political map of Russia and Ukraine.