The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia’s (FJCR) annual awards ceremony took place last week in Moscow ahead of the Chanukah celebrations. The “Fiddler on the Roof” awards were established in 2002 and honor outstanding achievement of individual contribution in social and cultural life of the country.
This year, Jewish community leaders, famous musicians and theater artists as well as government officials and educators were awarded the prize in categories such as “Regional Leader,” “Community Life,” “Cultural Event of the Year,” “Charity” and “Education.” The awards ceremony was complete with live music performances.
“Chanukah is different from all the other Jewish holidays. It is a very public event. The tradition says the Menorah has to be lit in a publicly visible place. So are the nominees of FJCR awards – they bring light and illuminate the world around them,” said chief rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar at the ceremony opening.
The “Regional Leader of the year” prize was awarded to the town of Ivanovo’s JCC director Evgeniy Boyev, who helped open the town’s first synagogue. Yuriy Bashmet, a famous violinist, was awarded the “Community life” award for his great efforts in developing young talents.
Since its establishment 14 years ago, over 100 people from Russia and other countries have been “Fiddler on the Roof” winners, including movie stars, musicians, prominent philanthropists, businessmen and politicians.