1994

HIAS

For the first time since the start of the Let My People Go campaign for the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate, HIAS has a representative in Russia.

HIAS launches a weekly Russian-language television program, HIAS and AT&T Answer, which addresses immigration questions and reaches 50,000 Russian-speaking households across the United States. HIAS actively participates in challenges to California’s Proposition 187, a ballot initiative designed to deny illegal immigrants social services, health care and public education.

FORMER SOVIET UNION

The Jewish Agency for Israel helps Chechnya’s remaining Jewish families leave their war-torn region before it is invaded by Russian forces. Many from this small community had fled previously, following the 1991 kidnapping and murder of Jewish university rector Viktor Kan-Kalik.

U.S./WORLD

In recognition of Russia’s new emigration policies, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and other Jewish organizations support the Clinton administration’s decision to place Russia in compliance of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, eliminating the annual waiver review process.

In Rwanda, 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu are murdered over a period of just 100 days,

STATISTICS

  • Jewish emigrants from the USSR: 98,849
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 32,919
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 68,100

Looking Back

There are 60 Jewish organizations in St. Petersburg alone, including Orthodox, Hasidic, and Reform congregations, a Holocaust Research Group, a welfare center for elderly Jews, the Union of Jewish War Veterans, and five day schools. International Jewish events held in former Soviet countries include a conference of European rabbis in Moscow and a meeting of 300 Jewish women to discuss women and Judaism in Kyiv.

Political and economic instability and the growth of xenophobia create vulnerable conditions for Jews remaining in Russia and many former Soviet republics. While state-sponsored anti-Semitism seems to be thing of the past, grass-roots anti-Semitism poses a new threat.