HIAS implements a Department of State-funded cultural orientation program in the former Soviet Union for all U.S.-bound refugees. The program gives refugees a sense of life in America to better prepare them for their arrival. In the U.S., HIAS is named to a special board of advisors on the restructuring of the INS.


A celebration commemorating 26 centuries of Jewish life in Georgia is held in Tbilisi. Among the dignitaries in attendance at the government-sponsored event are President Eduard Shevardnadze, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Katsav, and Israel’s Ashkenazic and Sephardic chief rabbis, Yisrael Meir Lau and Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron.


The Research Institute for New Americans – the first research center founded by immigrants from the former Soviet Union to study immigrants – is established. Its mission is to compile data on the Russian-speaking immigrant population through public opinion polls and surveys.


  • Jewish emigrants from the FSU: 53,720
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 7,387
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 46,373

Looking Back

The funeral of Galina Starovoitova in St. Petersburg turns into a rally for liberalism and democracy. Starovoitova, the seventh Duma deputy to be assassinated since 1993, had criticized other Duma members for their anti-Semitic remarks and had announced her intention to run for governor of the Leningrad region. Ten thousand people file past her casket. Across Russia, lights in private homes are dimmed in her memory at a prearranged time.

A survey by St. Petersburg Jewish University counts 51 Jewish day schools (19 in Russia, 16 in Ukraine) and 213 Sunday schools in the former Soviet Union.