MOSCOW (JTA) — A Jewish umbrella group met in the predominantly Muslim republic of Tatarstan to discuss the autonomy of religious organizations in the Russian state.
The general council of the Eurasian Jewish Congress and its president, Kazakh oligarch Alexander Mashkevich, also discussed with governmental, business and spiritual leaders the effect of the current global financial crisis on the Jewish community in the former Soviet Union, congress General Secretary Mikhail Chlenov told JTA.
Last week’s meeting in the capital city of Kazan opened with the head of the local parliament talking about maintaining the ethnic identity of all people in Tatarstan, including the Jewish community, which has deep roots in the area.
"Today, Russia is fundamentally changing attitudes towards people of different faiths and different cultures," said Guide Farid Muhametshin, the parliamentary leader. "Tatarstan attaches particular importance to this subject."