Jewish Agency prepares for possible shutdown in Russia – Israeli media
Agency that handles Jewish immigration to Israel has begun preparing for possible closure in Russia, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
In a move that prompted a swift comeback from Israel, the Russian Justice Ministry last month demand the “dissolution” of the Jewish Agency, citing unspecified legal violations.
“The Jewish Agency will do all its work on aliya [repatriation] from Israel, online or by phone,” a source close to the Jewish Agency told The Jerusalem Post.
‘We are looking at all options for a rainy day,’ Jewish Agency official speaking on condition of anonymity Told The Times of Israel.
The Jewish Agency has about 200 employees in Russia, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Because the agency provides assistance to Jews who wish to immigrate to Israel, a decision also known as making aliyah, its closure could impact thousands of Russian Jews seeking to repatriate to Israel.
The organization also runs Sunday schools and supports local Jewish communities across the country.
Earlier this week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog raised the issue of the Jewish Agency directly with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and the two agreed to continue discussing the matter.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned that Moscow closes the Jewish Agency would have “consequences” on the ties between the countries.
The Kremlin warned against the “politicization” of a possible closure of the agency.
But observers say the Justice Ministry’s request could be seen as a warning to Israel’s prime minister, who has taken a tougher rhetoric on Moscow’s war in Ukraine than his predecessor.