Hundreds of memorial events took place to mark today, May 9th, celebrated in Russia and most of the other FSU countries as Victory Day over Nazi Germany, throughout the region’s Jewish communities.
Local Jewish educational institutions – FJC’s ‘Or Avner’ Jewish school and kindergarten network throughout Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and Jewish colleges in Russia and Ukraine – hosted meeting with veterans and concerts in their honor. A multitude of remembrance ceremonies was held at cemeteries and memorials. JCCs throughout the region invited veterans for special programs that included festive meals, concerts, presents and more.
“I’m certain that the entire Jewish nation joins me in thanking you for your courage and selflessness in fighting the Nazi enemy – you overcame the ideology of hatred and murder and saved the lives of our parents and grandparents, that is to say, our own,” said the President of FJC of Russia Alexander Boroda in his internet address to the veterans.
Greetings were also sent by the Jewish communities of Estonia and Ukraine. “We love our veterans, honor them and wish them health and strength! We are very grateful to them! This history will be never forgotten,” the Estonian greeting said.
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar also took part in the central Victory Day memorial ceremony in Moscow, joined by veterans and Jewish school students. The local Shaarei Tzedek center for the elderly hosted an extensive program for the veterans, while those who could not come were visited by Jewish youth in the days preceding the holiday. Young people brought presents, flowers, took walks together and stayed for a home visit.