The FJC of Russia signed an agreement with the country’s Federal Corrections Authority (FCA) about visiting Jewish prisoners in Moscow jails recently. Under the agreement, FJC rabbis have the right to visit Jewish prisoners, provide spiritual guidance and give lessons on Jewish tradition.
The agreement is an update of a similar agreement valid since 2017, which now includes a list of authorized FJCR rabbis and literature that can be brought to the visits.
“This agreement helps us provide help and guidance to people in difficult life situations. We’ve been partnering up with the FCA for a long time already and we are happy that our partnership continues to flourish – we thank the Authority for their support and understanding of the importance of our mission,” said FJCR President Alexander Boroda.
FJC of Russia has been supporting Jewish prisoners in the country for the last 18 years. Since 2013, every Moscow jail and detention center has had a designated rabbi, authorized to visit the prisoners no less than once a week. Currently, there are 15 functioning synagogues in Russian jails overall, out of them, seven in Moscow’s detention centers.
Under the agreement, FJC rabbis may visit all Jewish prisoners regardless of citizenship, which provides valuable support for imprisoned foreign nationals. Such is the case of Israeli citizen Naama Issachar, who’s been at a Moscow detention center since April 2019. She was last visited by an FJCR rabbi on Chanukah, a source at the FJCR Department of Cooperation with Armed Forces and Law Enforcement said.