The Jewish Agency is actively preparing to move all its operations and presence in Russia to Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.
An “intense” meeting on the transfer was held at the Jewish Agency’s headquarters in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the report said.
“The Jewish Agency will operate all of its work on aliyah from Israel, online or by phone,” a source told The Post. “The problem is that there will be no way to encourage aliyah from Russia.”
The source added that the agency will change the way it operates to that of a philanthropic foundation. “They won’t operate any physical activities in Russia after their ‘exodus’ from Russia, but will fund local activities or send temporary educators from Israel to assist with Jewish life.”
“The consequences are that there will be no aliyah activities in Russia in any form. No one will provide information about aliyah and there won’t be any physical representatives.”
The Jewish Agency also runs Hebrew schools across Russia and assists local communities to organize activities for Jewish holidays and youth activities.
Shortly after The Post‘s report, The Times of Israel quoted a Jewish Agency official who denied that the report is true. The official said that although the agency is making preparations for the possibility that it will be required to transfer all its operations to Israel, it has certainly not given up hope that it may be able to maintain operations in Russia.
“We’re examining all the options for a rainy day,” the official said. “The trial could go both ways – shutdown, or staying under tightened regulations. But we’re certainly not going to leave if we can help it.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)