The Jews of Russia’s far-East city of Orenburg rejoiced last week as the community celebrated two festive occasions ahead of the Shavuot holiday: a new Torah scroll for their synagogue and the inauguration of a new FJC’s ‘Or Avner’ kindergarten that will welcome its first little patrons in September.
The occasions, both of which were celebrated last Sunday, were attended by Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, who flew in from Moscow, as well as city and regional officials and the community members themselves.
The new Torah scroll for the Orenburg community, which amounts to about 1,300 people, was donated by Mr. Vadim Aminov, a well-known philanthropist from Moscow. Together with the new scroll he also presented the community with a valuable collection of Jewish prayer books for its library.
The festive ceremony of completing the Torah scroll took place in Orenburg’s Drama Theater and was packed with guests. “Today is a very important day for our community,” said rabbi Goel Mayers, the chief rabbi of the city, at the ceremony, “the new kindergarten will provide our young children with a supportive and nourishing environment in which they can grow up proud of their roots, while our new Torah scroll and the joy it brought show that we continue to honor the traditions of our people.”