Interest in Jewish literature continues to rise in Russia and the FSU, with a large crowd gathering for the opening of a Jewish bookstore in Moscow, Thursday, and a sweeping success of the “Jewish Book Day” fair in Petersburg, on Sunday.
“This is an unprecedented phenomenon – queues are lining up for book purchases and there isn’t an open spot left at lectures about Jewish literature,” muses Mr. Boruch Gorin, the editor-in-chief of Knizhniki Publishing, the largest publisher of Jewish books in the former Soviet Union.
Knizhniki’s bookstore opened in Moscow Thursday after a reconstruction and amazed the visitors with the selection and quality of books available at the store. The store takes up two full floors of bookshelves and offers 500 Knizhniki published books in Russian as well as exclusive book volumes in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English.
According to the publisher, about 600 customers visited the store on the opening day. “We weren’t expecting such interest, and it was nice to see so many new faces among the visitors, which shows that the popularity of Jewish literature in Russia is on the rise,” Mr. Gorin said.
Another 900 people took part in the Jewish book fair organized at the Grand Choral Synagogue in Petersburg the following Sunday. This was the 3rd year the fair was held, and the largest one so far. It featured historic Jewish fiction and non-fiction books, religious literature, international best-sellers of famous Jewish authors, contemporary Israeli literature, children’s literature, cookbooks, magazines and many more. “Books were swept off the carts, while lectures about various aspects of Jewish literature were met with unprecedented interest and enthusiasm,” said Mrs. Anna Brodotskaya, one of the fair’s organizers.