Moscow, December 22, Interfax - Head of the Jewish agency for Israel Natan S˝haransky sees positive changes in lives of Russian Jews in recent years.
"I was pleased to see that Jews living in Russia can any time leave for Israel, and those who decide to stay have all chances to observe our traditions," S˝haransky said at his meeting with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar.
The Israeli guest noted that "the country which has recently persecuted people for observing religious traditions, now gives Jews right to build their lives entirely corresponding to demands of Jewish law."
Lazar told him how in his student years Jews prayed for S˝haransky's liberation and celebrated when he was released.
The parties discussed the prospects of cooperation between Israel and Jewish diaspora of Russia, educational and cultural programs, ways of strengthening relations between the two countries, opposing antisemitism.
After official part of the visit, a festival Chassidic reception was given in the Moscow Community Center. The chief rabbi of Russia and parishioners shared their stories about struggle of Jews for the right to leave for Israel, about those, who failed to get such a permission, and activists of the Jewish underground.