From the website:
"The International Center for Russian & East European Jewish Studies founded in Moscow in 2003. The Academic Director of the centre is professor of history Oleg Budnitskii.
The centre starts its work on the basis of the fact that the modern history and culture of the Jewish people were to a great extent formed by the Jews who either lived in Russia or Eastern Europe or originated from there. About three quarters of Jewish people resided within the territory of the Russian Empire in the middle of the XIXth century. The immigrant floods from the former tsarist Russia in the late 19th and early 20th ensured the absolute majority of Russian Jews among Jewish communities all over the world. The immigrants brought with them a richest historical and cultural heritage that had been forming for years under the influence of people of Russia and Eastern Europe. The potential of the ethno- cultural group, which had been developing in the atmosphere of mutual influence of great ancient cultures turned out to be unusually rich and versatile and the contribution of its representatives is priceless. Many famous politicians who contributed to the establishment of the independent Jewish State of Israel, public figures as well as various outstanding worldwide famous cultural sphere officials and scientists came from Russia or from Eastern Europe. That is why it is necessary to study the heritage of Russian and East European Jewry."