Professor Arkady Kovelman
Head of the Department for Jewish Studies
Lomonosov Moscow State University
The last thirty years have been the best era in the history of Russian Jewry. Russian Jews were given the freedom to leave or stay. Those who remained showed a characteristic Jewish propensity for entrepreneurship. From their midst came the so-called oligarchs and other businessmen. They set up charitable foundations and communal organizations such as the Russian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group, etc. With the support of Jewish businessmen, powerful religious associations arose: Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Congress of Jewish Communities of Russia, etc. Jewish elementary, secondary and higher schools appeared, as well as the Programs and Departments of Jewish Studies at the most prestigious Russian universities. Jewish publishing houses, libraries, and museums flourished. The recent events, however, have called this heyday into question.