The Jewish population of the former Soviet Union has undergone tremendous upheaval in the last twenty years or more with the loosening of immigration policy that began under Mikhail Gorbachev. Although exact population figures are not possible to ascertain, it is clear that out of a population of more than two million, 80 percent or more of the Jewish population departed for Israel, the United States, Germany and elsewhere. Most of those left were the aged and others who for one reason or another were either unable or unwilling to leave.
However, there is a developing trend of a modest number of those who had left are returning to their homeland. One factor in this development has been the difficult circumstances in Israel.
In 2004, Chosen People Ministries organized the first Moscow meeting of Messianic leaders of the former Soviet Union. Avi Y., a gifted leader, has helped form two new congregations-in Moscow and in Kazan. These congregations, called Beit T’phillah (House of Prayer), hold meetings on the Sabbath and also on Thursdays.