History in Birobidzhan: First Mikvah in Jewish Autonomous

After 15 years of anticipation, finally, the concrete was cast for the first Mikvah ever in the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia

On Wednesday, 31 October,  the concrete was cast for the first mikvah ever to be built in the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia – a region appropriated to Jews by Stalin. The Mikvah is located in the city of Birobidzhan, which has a population of over 2,000 Jews.

This mikvah was planned and designed 15 years ago, and now the dream is finally becoming a reality. Until now, the locals had to travel 200 km, a drive of 2.5 hours, to get to the nearest mikvah.

The elegant mikvah and youth club building was designed by architect R’ Yedidya Hassin from Kfar Chabad. The structural compliance to local building regulations was supervised by architect and mikvah construction expert, R’ Shmuel Levin from Be’er Sheva. The mikvah is constructed according to the strictest halachic requirements and customs.

The mikvah was generously funded by the Rama Foundation headed by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Waldman, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE), along with Jews from all over the world.

Rabbi Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, who took special interest in the mikvah and worked tirelessly to make it happen, asked the inspector from the Rama Foundation, Rabbi Yisroel Polotzik from New York and the architect R’ Shmuel Levin to check the mikvah to make sure it holds up to the highest standards.

The Rabbi of the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia, Rabbi Eliyahu Riss, welcomed all of the architects and inspectors with great joy and was personally involved in the entire building process.

The news of the upcoming opening of this historic mikvah spread throughout local and national Russian news networks.

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