Magnificent Dinner in Moscow Benefits Russia’s Central Gmach

Hundreds gathered in Moscow’s prestigious Mercury Hotel for a melava malka to benefit the Keren Chaya Mushka gemach in memory of the Chief Rabbi’s daughter, Chaya Mushka Lazar AH.

About two hours after Shabbos was over, a mass influx was spotted in Moscow’s prestigious neighborhood near the Paveletzky Railway Station. There were rabbis and businessmen, shluchim and philanthropists, lay leaders and chassidim, all members of Mosow’s Jewish community, and they were all headed to the “Mercury Hotel”, owned by a dear friend of the community, who so kindly donated its conference hall for tonight’s event. The event that they all gathered for was the Annual Melave Malka dinner benefiting “Keren Chaya Mushka”, the FSU’s central Gmach.

The benefit dinner takes place every year close to Shushan Purim Katan, the yohrtzeit of the young shlucha Chaya Mushka Lazar OBM, who despite her young age merited to influence girls and even women to increase their mitzva observance. This year marks 27 years since this dear pure soul has departed from us. 

Indeed, since the Gmach was founded 23 years ago, as part of the Shaarei Tzedek Chesed Center in Moscow, it has served as a beacon of light and charity, providing aid and assistance to hundreds of Jews from all over Russia and the FSU. This was expressed by the impressive gathering of a most appreciative audience who were the beneficiaries, whether directly or indirectly, of the Gmach’s many different projects. Over the years, the Gmach has always striven to help and assist any Jew in any situation, as is the wish of Chaya Mushka’s father, yibodel lechaim tovim, Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia.

The evening began with the esteemed guest speaker, Rabbi Chaim Danzinger, shliach to the city of Rostov, who so warmly and wittily spoke from the heart, inspiring people to open their hearts and their pockets in support of the Gmach.

After the havdala ceremony, by Rabbi Yaakov Klein, shliach to Moscow’s Arbat neighborhood, Rabbi Dovid Mondshine, chairman of the Gmach and president of the “Ohr Avner Fund” was called up to lead the guests in reciting Tehillim for our brothers in the Holy Land. 

The keynote address was delivered by the Gmach’s president, the Chief Rabbi of Russia. He spoke about the situation in Eretz Yisroel, and the people’s dire need of assistance. Families who lost loved ones, families who were left without any source of income, they are crying for help. He beseeched the guests to commit to send aid to our dear brethren. 

“For years we have had a steady Tanya shiur in our community. We are now nearing the end of the Tanya where the last chapters speak about the importance of tzedakah for the Jews of Eretz Yisroel. In the times when the Alter Rebbe wrote this, it was dangerous to say so, and as we know, this resulted in his indictment and imprisonment. Today, when we are free to do so, it is vital that we help the Jews of Eretz Yisroel!”

One after another, the esteemed donors and benefactors were called up to the stage to receive recognition in appreciation of their ongoing support during the past year. The first of whom was Rabbi Yitzchak Kogan of the Bolshaya Bronnaya shul in Moscow’s center. He also blessed the crowd with Birkas Kohanim. The next philanthropist called up was Rabbi Yehuda Davidov. Special appreciation was expressed to Rabbi Alexander Boroda and Mr. German Zecharyaev, devoted partners in the many aid projects under the auspices of the central Gmach. 

After bentching and a musical interlude befitting seudasa deDovid Malka Meshicha, and Shushan Purim Katan, the crowds went home uplifted, with the understanding that the Chesed infrastructure in Moscow keeps growing and expanding with every year. 

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