The Jewish community of Petersburg, Russia opened its doors to anyone in need of help in the aftermath of terrorist attack in the city subway yesterday. Together with Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar the community sent its condolences to the victims of the attack, which left 14 dead and about 50 injured.
The attack was carried out in a subway cart in the city center, where a bomb exploded while the train was traveling between stations.
“Tother with the entire Jewish community of Russia, I am devastated to hear the news of the tragedy in Petersburg. We share the grief of the families of the victims, and pray for full recovery of the injured,” said rabbi Lazar in an open letter to Petersburg’s city mayor.
The city’s Jewish community announced its readiness to help the victims and their families with anything necessary. “Our city, which has not yet been a target of such attacks, was hurt. We send our deepest condolences to the the victims and their families and ask our community members and all Petersburg citizens to be especially attentive and kind towards each other in this difficult time,” said the community’s president, Mr. David Grubarg, adding that the community’s doors are open for anyone in need.
The community also said it will add special prayers to this morning’s services to commemorate those who perished and pray for recovery of the injured, some of whom are in critical condition. “We will also pray that such horrific events should not happen again. I ask everyone not to give in to the feeling of panic and depression but do what we can in order to alleviate fear – the holiday of Passover is upon us – let us gather for seders, give charity, and feel our connection to each other,’ said the chief rabbi of Petersburg Menahem Pevzner.
Petersburg residents have come forward with a strong volunteer effort to help anyone in a difficult situation due to the attack: free car rides were offered to those stuck in the city center, as the subway system closed down after the explosion; gas station offered free gasoline to those driving the stranded home; restaurants offered complimentary meals; while other volunteers were giving out water, blankets and other necessities. “Petersburg is truly a special city that has come together in this difficult hour,” Mr. Grubarg said.