The 17th annual “Fiddler on the Roof” awards were hosted by the FJC of Russia earlier this month.
The awards celebrate valuable efforts in Jewish life development by individuals in the spheres of art & culture, public discourse and social activism. FJC first introduced the awards in 2001 and since then they have became a notable fixture on Russia’s capital’s social scene.
“For us the award is an opportunity to thank these people for their viable support and unwavering dedication to developing Jewish life and identity. We hope the awards underline that the future of Jewish communities is in the hands of every one of us,” said Mr. Alexander Boroda, FJC of Russia President.
“Our mission is to bring light to our brethren, to make the world better,” said Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, about the awards. “The awards laureates exemplify this mission in social and cultural realms.”
Over the years the “Fiddler on the Roof” awards have been received by many well-known public figures and activists. This year the winners were: Vladimir Katzman, the director of Kaliningrad’s Jewish community for his key role in the process of restoring the historic Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg) synagogue, which opened earlier in November; actor Konstantin Khabensky in the “Cinematography” category for acting and directing in “Sobibor” – the film about the Sobibor ghetto uprising. The “Charity” award went to philanthropist Aleksei Lihtenfeld, founder of the grants program at FJC’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance center. The “heroism” award went to rabbi Nosson Vershubsky, who was a Soviet dissident in the 1980s, for his fight for the rights of Soviet Jews.
Other categories included “Journalism”, “Education”, “Theater”, “Public Discourse”, “Publishing”, and “Legend”. Alexandr Shirvindt, long-term artistic director of the Moscow Academic Theater of Satire was awarded in the “Legend” category.