Aliyah rising, but uber-rich Jews stay put

  • FJC logo
If you thought all the Russian Jews were in Israel, you are wrong. Anything but… The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC) comprises about 260 000 self-identifying Jews who belong to a whopping 454 affiliated communities. While aliyah is on the rise (around 50% to 6 000 in 2015), Jews enjoy political patronage from both Medvedev & Putin (who lit Chanukah candles with the Chief Rabbi last month). SEE VIDEO and read on...
by ANT KATZ | Jan 03, 2016

The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC) is an invaluable resource of news and information on everything Jewish in the former Soviet Union. It covers events, big and small, across communities in places such as Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Azerbaijan.

The FJC is dedicated to restoring Jewish life, culture and religion in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), what remains of the former Soviet Union. The FJC was founded on August 1, 1997 and has a total of 454 AFFILIATED MEMBER COMMUNITIES throughout the former USSR.

Zhukovka kosher chefApart from humanitarian aid, they are involved in the revival of Jewish Heritage, a large network of unique Jewish education institutions, youth and student programmes and cultural and social events.

RIGHT: Chief Rabbi of Russia and head of the Union of Rabbis, Rabbi Berel Lazar, also has close ties to Vladimir Putin; the two men lit Chanukah candles together at the Kremlin on December 9
They are deeply involved in humanitarian aid projects which deal with the most vulnerable parts of the population - children at risk and the elderly. They also run a chain of orphanages across the region, as well as soup kitchens and even medical clinics.

Lev Leviev is the president of the FJC. The Moscow-based organisation also has an office in New York City.

The organisation has access to hundreds of community leaders and prominent Jewish figures. The Russian Jewish community has close ties with both President Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

“We are also active in war devastation zones,” Daniel Gordon, the resource development director of the FJC told Jewish Report Online, “providing food, clothing and healthcare.”

Zhukovka Jewish Community Center. (Courtesy)

LEFT: A luxurious Jewish community centre and 400-seat shul opened its doors last month in the affluent village of Zhukovka on the outskirts of Moscow. VIPs such as Jewish construction magnates Boris and Arkady Rotenberg arrived for the ceremony which was officiated by Chabad Rabbi Alexander Boroda, a former Red Army soldier

Although many Jews are assured by Putin’s pro-Jewish policies, others are jittery over his overt nationalism and expansionism, as well as his government’s xenophobia toward gays and Muslims.

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The combination has already generated a 31 per cent year-over-year increase in Jewish immigration to Israel, or aliyah, from Russia, which is home to about 260 000 Jews. In 2014, some 5 921 Russian Jews made aliyah, compared to 4 094 the previous year.

According to Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which facilitates aliyah, there's been a rise in the number of Jews moving to Israel from Moscow and St Petersburg, where Russian Jewry’s intellectual and financial elites tend to live, and where Jews used to be more resistant to leaving than their coreligionists in poorer areas.

Sharansky was a famous Ukrainian-born Soviet “Refusenik” and is presently leading the scramble to get Ukrainian Jewry caught up in the war zone safely relocated to Israel.

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Related reading on Jewish Report Online:

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The FJC's area of operations is enormous


  1. 2 Choni 03 Jan
    Soon they will be saying; "Moscow is Jerusalem", and "Mach doh Eretz Yisrael" (make ERetz Yisrael here)
  2. 1 nat cheiman 06 Jan
    Mr Putin is demonstrating brilliant statesmanship in the Middle East. He has tremendous clout and he seems to be uber friendly towards Israel.
    Refreshing to say the least. He even told Hezbollah to cool it with attacks on the IDF.
    America has lost an opportunity in the Middle East and Russia grabbed it with both hands.


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