Russian President Putin: Why does he want to shutter the Jewish Agency?
Russian President Putin: Why does he want to shutter the Jewish Agency? Reuters

A Moscow court has held a preliminary hearing on the closure of the Jewish Agency in Russia, with a future hearing scheduled for August 19th.

Last week, reports emerged that Russia plans to end the activities of the Jewish Agency within its borders, prompting alarm among Israeli officials. On Wednesday evening, a delegation was dispatched to Moscow in order to hold meetings with Russian officials in the hope that the growing crisis of relations between the two countries can be resolved.

The Agency itself will be called at some point to present its arguments before the Russian court. Meanwhile, Yaakov Hagoel, acting head of the Jewish Agency, issued a statement.

"The Jewish Agency has a vital role to play in nurturing Jewish identity and strengthening ties between Israel and Jewish communities across the world. Its vital activities among the important Jewish communities of Russia will continue in order to ensure their future wellbeing and connection to Jewish heritage as well as their ties to the State of Israel."