FJC’s Jewish community members in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia were excited to meet Zvi Hefetz, Israeli Ambassador to Russia this week. The ambassador, who is on an official tour of the region, met with the city mayor, and then proceeded to the city’s synagogue and community center for an informal meeting with community members. Many people, young and old, gathered for a chance of a face-to-face chat with the diplomat.
“Our community is like one big family here, and the synagogue is the meeting place for everyone,” said Yuriy Lifshitz, community chairman. “Some come to the library, some for prayer services, others to ask and consult with the rabbi. The meeting with the ambassador really highlighted this feeling of unity.”
Zvi Hefetz answered a plentitude of questions that came from the congregants, talked about life in Israel, joked and discussed possibilities of closer cooperation between Jews everywhere.
The city’s Jewish youth club members also came to the discussion and were satisfied with the outcome. “Being a Jew here in Siberia is more than just wearing a yarmulke,” said Vladislav Pidkus, the city’s EnerJew youth club coordinator. “It’s about leading by example, being educated, intelligent and successful in one’s field. The local synagogue is like our second home, where we can discover new horizons, meet interesting people, and today’s talk with the ambassador is one of such events,” he said.