The Russian judicial decision on whether to suspend or end the Jewish Agency for Israel’s activities in the country is yet to be announced. This comes after Moscow’s Justice Ministry filed a request to liquidate the organization’s activities, citing a violation of Russian law.
Former Israeli ambassador to Russia Arkady Mil-Man and former chief rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt discussed the dramatic development, the implications for Israel-Russia relations and the possible impact on the Jewish community.
The speakers were joined by a member of the Jewish community in Moscow for a not-for-attribution Q&A session. She and her husband made Aliyah to Israel last April. She joined us from Moscow, where she was visiting her family, also planning on making Aliyah, but unable to, in part due to the developments with the Jewish Agency. For safety reasons, she will not show her face.
Arkady Mil-Man is is the head of the Russia program at the INSS. He was the Israeli ambassador to Russia (2003-2006) and Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan (1997-2000). He began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a senior researcher of the Soviet Union at the Center for Political Research. He later headed the department responsible for the research of Russia and the Far East. Mil-Man also served as deputy head of the group of Israeli diplomats in Moscow (1989-1990) before the renewal of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt has been the Chief Rabbi of Moscow from 1993-2022. He also founded and has headed the Moscow Rabbinical Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Since 2011, he serves as president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER).