FJC’s 5th annual Mitzvah Tank expedition concluded its voyage across Russia last week. This year, the unusual summer road-trip brought three “Mitzvah tanks” or mobile synagogues-on-wheels to over 35 remote cities and towns on the country’s vast plane. The expeditions teams reported that they met with close to 3,000 visitors – local Jewish residents curious about their roots and culture.
“Year after year the awareness of the Mitzvah Tank project rises and people are more open to stop their daily routine, come in for a chat and participate,” said Mendel Mondshine, one of the young rabbis who led the trip. Each of the three “Mitzvah tank” mobiles followed its own root around the country, focusing on its southern, central or eastern region.
Besides providing the local Jews a rendez-vous with their heritage, this year the project’s mission was centered around affixing mezuzas to apartment doors. There were about 500 mezuzas placed on the doorposts of apartments in Russia. “The main purpose was to arrive in smaller cities, where there isn’t yet an active community that can address these needs,” Mondshine said.
Mitzvah tanks traveled to over 35 cities, starting from larger ones such as Rostov, Sochi, Kazan and Volgograd to smaller towns such as Tambov, Yoshkar-Ola and Ryazan. The Mitzvah Tank project is conducted under the scope of FJC activities.