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BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentine President Carlos Menem was so concerned he'd be criticized for not finding those responsible for two terror bombings of Jewish targets in 1992 and 1994 that he called Jewish leaders to the presidential palace Tuesday to ask that they not bring up the issue during a meeting with President Clinton two days later.

Jewish communal sources said they had acquiesced to Menem's request. "We will not show ourselves to be bad Argentines, criticizing our country before Clinton," a source said.

Menem had wanted to prevent his government from being embarrassed over its continued inability to solve the March 17, 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy and the July 18, 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association, also known as AMIA.

The attacks in Buenos Aires killed 115 people and left hundreds of wounded.

Instead of lashing out at their government, Argentine Jewish representatives said they planned to ask Clinton for information they believe is held by the FBI and CIA but was never disclosed to Argentine investigators.

Jewish affairs rubric created in Russia

MOSCOW(JTA) — Russia's Jews have a new umbrella group.

Known as the Jewish Community of Russia, it brings together three of the community's leading Jewish organizations.

The group, created last month, was co-sponsored by the Va'ad, the Russian Jewish Congress and the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations (KEROOR).

Estimates of the Russian Jewish population run between 300,000 and 1.5 million, but only a small minority are actively affiliated.

Since the fall of communism six years ago, a wide range of organizations and programs have been created — including day and Sunday schools, cultural societies, publications, and welfare programs — to meet an increased interest in Judaism.

The umbrella groups will continue to function separately, but the new group will help overcome potential conflicts among them.

The leaders of the three groups were elected co-chairmen of the new body: Alexander Osovtsov, executive vice president of the Russian Jewish Congress; the Va'ad's Chlenov; and KEROOR leader Adolph Shayevich, who is Russia's chief rabbi.