Jewish Inmates in Russia’s Ryazan Region Get a Synagogue

A Jewish prayer room was opened last week in the Ryazan region penitentiary colony No.6 by FJC of Russia. The opening is part of an agreement signed between FJCR and Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service last year that enables FJCR to provide more services for Jewish inmates in prisons across the country.

This is the 13th functioning synagogue in Russia’s correctional facilities outside of Moscow and here the initial demand for a closer connection to Jewish roots came from the inmates themselves, said Rabbi Aaron Gurevich, FJCR’s head of prisons and army services relations. “There are about 15 Jewish inmates in the Ryazan colony, who’ve expressed interest to strengthen their connection with the roots and study Jewish heritage and tradition,” he said.

“We are very impressed by the fact that people in such a difficult situation found the goodwill and initiative to bring about positive change,” said FJC of Russia President Alexander Boroda about the opening.

There will be daily prayers and Torah learning in the room that was renovated and equipped with furniture and religious literature with the support from FJCR and private donors. “We hope that next month already we will be ready to celebrate Passover and inspire these people with the story of the holiday of Freedom,” Mr. Boroda said.


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