2005

HIAS

HIAS establishes a program to persuade the U.S. to restore SSI to thousands of elderly Russian Jewish immigrants and begins a campaign to speed the naturalization process.

HIAS opens an office and launches programs in refugee camps in Chad to provide trauma counseling and support to survivors of the genocide in Darfur.

RUSSIA and the FORMER SOVIET UNION

In January, 500 Russians, including 20 members of parliament, sign a letter calling for the banning of Jewish organizations in Russia. In March, another letter (signed by 5,000, but no members of parliament) calls for an investigation of the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations of Russia for publishing a Russian translation of the Shulchan Aruch, the 16th-century religious code written by Rabbi Joseph Caro. The letter claims that the work incites ethnic hatred.

U.S./WORLD

Germany modifies a new immigration law in response to an outcry from those who fear that it would severely limit Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union. For several years, the number of Jews immigrating to Germany has far exceeded the number of those going to Israel. The law passed in 2004 was developed with input from Israel and put into place rules that would have drastically restricted Jewish immigration to Germany.

Hurricane Katrina devastates the city of New Orleans and ravages other communities along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, killing more than 1,800 people and leaving several hundred thousand homeless.

STATISTICS

  • Jewish emigrants from the FSU: 11,146
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 1,165
  • Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 9,528