Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union
) is an umbrella organization of Jewish human rights
groups working in Eastern Europe
and Central Asia
. The UCSJ is based in Washington, D.C.
and is linked to other organizations such as the Moscow Helsinki Group
and it has offices in the countries where they operate.
The UCSJ was formed in 1970 as part of the Movement to Free Soviet Jewry
, a response to the oppression of Jews in the Soviet Union
and other countries of the Soviet bloc
. Today, most of its offices are based within the United States
where it has eight member councils. Additionally there are seven offices in various locations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Moscow
(although the latter was closed in 2005).
Activities of the UCSJ include reporting on the human rights situation of countries in the former Soviet Union (FSU), as well as assisting communities in need, providing support for asylum seekers
, exposing human rights violations
and hate crimes
, whether these are targeted against Jews
or other minorities in the region, such as Roma
The UCSJ receives its funding from the European Commission
of the European Union
as part of a three-year project designed to combat racism
in Eastern European countries. The reports it produces on the situation in various countries are often presented to the US State......