2004

HIAS

Membership in CVEI (Civic Voter Education Initiative), a joint project of HIAS’ LOREO and the World Congress of Russian Jewry, grows to more than 30 Russian-speaking grassroots and community-based organizations. Forty-six voter registration drives are conducted and more than 5,000 Russian-Americans become registered voters. HIAS opens an office in Quito, Ecuador, to help address the needs of thousands of Columbian refugees fleeing war, kidnapping and other forms of violence.

RUSSIA and the FORMER SOVIET UNION

Mikhail Fradkov is appointed prime minister after serving as Russia’s envoy to the European Union in Brussels. He is the first identified Jew to hold this position.

Hundreds of thousands of protestors fill the streets in Ukraine to protest elections rigged in favor of Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma. The Orange Revolution succeeds in winning a new election that puts opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko into power.

Islamic militants attack a school in Beslan, Russia, murdering more than 300 civilians, including 172 children.

U.S./WORLD

Hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan flood refugee camps.
 

STATISTICS

  • Jewish emigrants from the FSU: 31,538
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 1,131
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 10,500

Looking Back

A survey by Research Institute for New Americans finds that Russian Jewish immigrants in the U.S. are more conservative than American-born Jews on a wide range of political and social issues.

Two new kosher restaurants open in Moscow: “Chagall” and “King David.” They join “Tzimes,” a large Jewish restaurant designed to look like a tavern in a 19th-century Jewish shtetl, where klezmer music is played and waiters wear kipot.

JDC meals-on-wheels programs deliver more than one million meals to elderly, impoverished Jews in Ukraine.

Both the Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations and Communities and its rival, the Federation of Jewish Communities, attend the gathering of a new interfaith organization, the Interreligious Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States. A resolution condemning terrorism is signed.