The Federation Council Chairman of Russia, Valentina Matviyenko and other high-ranking government officials visited FJC’s Petersburg Jewish community at the city’s Grand Choral synagogue at the end of January. The visit marked the double date of the International Holocaust Remembrance day and the day of the Petersburg Blockade lifting in WWII.
The officials participated in the memorial ceremony in the synagogue, which commemorated Jews fallen during the war and lit candles. “We are reminded the dimensions hate and evil can take when they are not stopped in time, ” Matviyenko said.
After the official ceremony, Matviyenko met with Jewish veterans and community leaders, toured the recently restored Small Synagogue complex, and tasted some traditional fish dishes at the synagogue’s kosher restaurant. The synagogue visit was not the first for the head of the Federation Council, who used to visit it on high holidays during her tenure as the Petersburg city mayor.