MOSCOW (AP) _ Sandy Berger, the U.S. national security adviser, assured rabbis Sunday that President Clinton appealed for religious tolerance during summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Berger also told a group of three rabbis that a vibrant Jewish community is an important aspect of democracy taking hold in Russia.

The 45-minute meeting in Berger's hotel headquarters was held with Pinchas Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow; Berl Lazar, a Lubavicher rabbi; and Reform Rabbi Chaim Ben-Yakovov.

Several synaoguges have been attacked and a Jewish leader was stabbed last month in a rash of anti-semitism.