Today, NCSJ continues to represent the organized American Jewish community in ensuring the well-being of the more than one million Jews who are rebuilding Jewish life in the former Soviet Union. Comprising nearly 50 national organizations and over 300 local federations, community councils, and committees, NCSJ works on behalf of Federations to ensure that political conditions in the former Soviet Union allow Jews to live freely as Jews, without interference or intimidation.
With the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Jews determined not only to immigrate. Hundreds of thousands also decided to remain in their countries after 1991 and rebuild Jewish communal life, daunting as the challenge was regarded. And rebuild they have, with the crucial support, once more, of an international Jewish community.
The unanticipated development to revitalize Jewish life in the former Soviet countries paved the way for new forms of advocacy and social welfare assistance. In the United States, for example, NCSJ transformed its mission to meet the changing needs of Jews in the new successor states to the USSR, while at the same time continuing to represent the organized American Jewish community. NCSJ set about to ensure the opening of geopolitical borders so that social welfare and humanitarian agencies, such as JAFI and JDC, could enter and service the fledgling Jewish communities. One of NCSJ’s most critical advances in this post-Soviet era has been gaining direct access to all 15 governments of the former Soviet Union. No longer relying on grassroots activism alone, NCSJ, as the mandated voice of American Jewry, has won the respect of the post-Soviet governments and now engages in formal diplomatic relationships.
NCSJ Today: The Job’s Not Done!
Since 1991, NCSJ has worked in a swiftly changed political environment towards:
- Assuring full and free access to Jewish tradition, education, culture, and communal life in Russia and Eurasia
- Involving American Jews in revitalizing Jewish life in these countries
- Monitoring and combating anti-Semitism in the post-Soviet region
- Cooperating with foreign policy makers in the United States, and with other Western governments, on behalf of Jews in the former Soviet Union
- Assisting Jews in emigrating without impediment
- Promoting strong bilateral ties between former Soviet Republic governments and Israel
- Creating the next generation of Jewish activists
NCSJ provides analysis and timely information about the conditions facing Jews in the former Soviet Union – publishing Country Reports and a quarterly newsletter; disseminating a weekly news summary and analysis to NCSJ leadership, Federations, national agencies and other interested parties; and providing reliable information and evidence to governments and the media.
NCSJ also advises Members of Congress and Administration officials on pertinent foreign policy issues, and works closely with the government of Israel.