Hundreds of rabbis, Chabad emissaries, and community leaders gathered for the 8th conference of the FJCR – Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, which also marked 25 years since its founding.
Representatives of over 150 Jewish communities across Russia gathered in Moscow for the 8th conference of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, which also marked 25 years since its founding in 1999. In the two and a half decades since, the FJCR has served hundreds of thousands of Jews spread out throughout Russia and continues to grow and reach even more Russian Jews, assisting them physically and spiritually.
The conference opened with the central session, held at Moscow’s prominent “Marina Roshcha” synagogue and community center. Throughout the year, the synagogue serves as a focal point for rabbis and community leaders when they visit the Russian capital, offering them a place to pray, study, and hold communal activities.
Representatives of all faiths in Russia gathered alongside numerous government officials for the opening session, offering a window into the respect and years-long collaboration that has yielded significant benefits for Russia’s Jewish community. A plethora of congratulatory letters from government offices highlighted the diverse Jewish activities across Russia.
In his opening remarks, Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar emphasized the organization’s primary mission: “People who come to a Jewish community want to feel happy with their Judaism, they want to be proud of their Judaism. We must help them bring that desire to fruition, ensuring that the connection to the eternal values of Judaism is felt in every home and every family.” Rabbi Lazar then laid out several suggested activities and programs that would help “flame the spark” of Judaism in every Jew in Russia.
Following Rabbi Lazar’s address, FJCR spokesperson Rabbi Baruch Gorin, who emceed the session, invited Mr. Yevgeny Armin, Head of the Department for Relations with Religious Organizations at the Office of the Russian President to address the crowd. Mr. Armin expressed gratitude for the FJCR’s dedicated humanitarian efforts. He lauded the construction of impressive synagogues and ongoing collaboration with government bodies, particularly in supporting children with special needs, specifically mentioning the new building of the “Or Avner” school in the city of Novosibirsk.
President of the “Stamagi” Foundation and Deputy President of the Russian Jewish Congress, Mr. German Zakharev, praised the fruitful collaboration among the organizations, which has led to numerous successes benefiting the country’s Jewish population.
FJCR President Rabbi Alexander Boroda concluded the convention with a detailed report on the organization’s activities over the past four years, highlighting the establishment and successful operation of over 160 synagogues and community centers across Russia, along with achievements in various aspects of Jewish life in many cities.
Throughout the convention, community leaders participated in numerous workshops aimed at enhancing community management and expanding outreach to attract more Jews to community institutions. Special Torah classes addressed contemporary halachic issues unique to Russia, with guidance from Chief Rabbi Lazar and the Chief Rabbinate’s Dayanim.