Russia’s Jewish population is at about one million, says the FJC President, Alexander Boroda. Speaking on a Moscow radio program, he justified this figure despite a census that puts the number at around 270,000. Communism has produced generations of Russian Jews who know little if anything, about Judaism and their heritage. It is only in the last decade or so that they have begun to uncover their Jewish roots, so that the number of identifying Jews is not reflective of real numbers, he explained.Before the revolution, he said, “there were normally 20 synagogues in a locality with a population of 5,000, now there are only six synagogues in Moscow, and I can’t say they are packed full.”
The FJC is working to change that. Today it has centers in 426 communities in the Former Soviet Union, with 139 Jewish day schools.