Thousands of FSU Jews are coming to local FJC synagogues, community centers and charities during this year’s High Holidays that started last week and will continue throughout the month. Some discover Jewish holidays for the first time, others are already regulars at the services and community dinners.
There are also countless special activities for kids, teens and young adults around the holiday themes, while disadvantaged families and the elderly will receive or have already received food and clothing packages.
“Every year in all our communities we worry that no Jew will be left out, separated from their brethren on these important dates. And every year our rabbis and community activists make outstanding efforts to reach out far and wide, connecting to new people, reminding those, who might have forgotten and strengthening those, who have already began discovering their Jewish identity,” said Mr. Daniel Gordon, FJC’s coordinator.
Communities in large cities and small towns alike organize festive meals for the two days of Rosh Hashanah; invite everyone for the solemn and profound Yom Kippur services; and share the joy of holidays that follow regardless of the weather, which is often quite rough in this time of the year in many parts of the region.
FJC coordinators also try to reach out to villages, where only one or two Jewish families may reside making sure they too get packages for the holidays and partake in the Jewish people’s shared traditions.
Photos from the Jewish community of Tomsk, Russia.