HIAS works in coalition with other agencies to defeat plans to place a cap on the number of refugees admitted annually to the U.S. HIAS also plays a prominent role in the renewal of the 1989 Lautenberg Amendment, which eases the way for historic victims of religious, racial or political persecution applying for refugee status.


The Russian Jewish Congress is established in Moscow by Jewish businessmen Vladimir Gusinsky, Vitaly Malkin and Mikhail Fridman to fund Jewish communal activities, fight anti-Semitism and assist in the restitution of Jewish properties.


President Bill Clinton signs the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which cuts off Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and cash assistance for legal immigrants who have not yet become citizens. Nearly 100,000 elderly immigrants from the former Soviet Union fall under this category and face losing SSI, Medicare, food stamps and housing benefits.


  • Jewish emigrants from the FSU: 77, 515
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 19,502
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 58,900

Looking Back

The first 17 Judaic studies majors are awarded their diplomas by the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. However, Russia also experiences the growth of ultra-nationalist and anti-Semitic organizations and frequent occurrences of anti-Semitic and xenophobic incidents.