A HIAS office is officially registered in the Russian Federation. It continues to function in Moscow.

HIAS’ Russian Community Outreach Program becomes its own unit and participates in more than 80 local and national events organized by Russian-speaking communities across the United States. HIAS produces 52 episodes of a weekly, 30-minute call-in Russian-language radio show, HIAS Answers, and its two Russian-language television shows are broadcast via satellite and cable to 40 cities nationwide.


The Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea with no survivors. The government is criticized for initially rejecting offers of foreign assistance with its rescue attempt.

The government officially recognizes Berel Lazar, the chief Chabad emissary in Russia, as chief rabbi of Russia, despite the fact that there is an existing chief rabbi, Adolf Shayevich. Vladimir Gusinsky, a Jewish media magnate whose television station NTV broadcasts criticism of the Kremlin, is detained on charges of embezzlement and is later arrested under an international warrant in Spain. He is forced to give up his media empire and goes into exile. Another Jewish businessman, Boris Berezovsky, known as the richest man in Russia, is charged with embezzling money from Aeroflot but remains in exile abroad.


A new intifada erupts in the West Bank and Gaza. The U.S. presidential election results in a dispute. The Supreme Court rules out a recount in Florida, awarding the victory to George W. Bush.


  • Jewish emigrants from the FSU: 56,647
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 5,904
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 50,859

Looking Back

Russian Jewish immigrant and swimming champion Lenny Krayzelburg wins three gold medals at the Sydney Olympics.

Former refusenik Natan Sharansky visits Russia and meets with President Putin. He also visits Uzbekistan and discusses Islamic terrorism with President Islam Karimov.

In December, as visiting former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on, President Putin lights a Hannukiah at the Jewish Cultural Center in Moscow.