Russian Synagogues Open Doors to the Public

A “Night at the Museum” event was held in many Russian cities Saturday night, where city museums and art centers held their doors open for the public throughout the night and offered special tours and activities. City synagogues also participated in the event – and with smashing success.

In Petersburg, the Grand Choral synagogue complex – three synagogues all together – presented an exciting program for the public. There were lectures by leading historians in the main hall, tours of the Chupa hall, the little-known Georgian synagogue and the recently restored Small synagogue. The visitors could also write their name in Hebrew script, taste kosher delicacies from the cafe and print their Instagram pictures. And the main attraction was the fashion show, which featured varied authentic Jewish costumes, from traditional and Chassidic to modern Israeli. Overall 1,500 people came to enjoy the program.

Meanwhile in the city of Samara, the local synagogue also became the gem of the night. Participating in the Museum night for the first time, the synagogue, nevertheless, attracted hundreds of visitors and was highly reviewed by the local press. “Led by Samara’s chief rabbi Shlomo Doitch, the visitors dipped apples in honey, spin the dreidel, ate matzah and learned how to say ‘I love you’ in Hebrew,” a local newspaper reports. The synagogue was very welcoming and the event highly organized, reflected the visitors.

The money collected by the synagogues for the events will go to various funds for the needy in the city’s communities.

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