With Pesach already on the horizon, Chief Rabbi of Russia Rabbi Berel Lazar visited Russia’s western port city of Kaliningrad, where food is prepared and shipped to the rest of Europe.
Photos: Denis Pavlov
One of the most integrated systems in Jewish Russia is the “Vaad HaKashrus Hamehudar of Russia”, which in its consistent and invested activity for the past three decades, stands today at the forefront of Kosher systems, overseeing production in hundreds of food factories throughout Russia. Its Kosher stamp is considered a badge of honor, by the leading food companies in Russia.
With the country’s development and many ties with the world, exports have grown accordingly, the result of which is that many food products bearing the Kosher stamp are successfully marketed worldwide, in full cooperation with Mehadrin Kashrus systems in Israel and abroad.
In anticipation of the Purim and Pesach, Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, and the head of Russia’s Vaad HaKashrus, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Marzel, visited and personally examined several factories in Kaliningrad. Located in Western Russia on the Baltic coast, many ships and trains depart from there, laden with food products for all of Europe.
As is befitting the mazal of the month of Adar, the first visit was made to a new fish canning factory which markets dozens of types of tuna in all major food chains throughout Russia. The second plant they visited was an oil plant, the second largest in the world, which has been under the supervision of the Vaad HaKashrus for several years and has now also received Kosher for Passover approval for those who use kitniyot.
The visits, organized by the chairman of Russia’s Kashrus committee, Rabbi Yosef Verzov, lasted many hours, inspecting everything down to the smallest detail. This left a great impression on the factory managers who personally accompanied the distinguished delegation. After the tour, each of them was presented with a box of matza and a bottle of wine as a token of appreciation for their cooperation, which benefits thousands of kosher consumers throughout Russia.
The trip to Kaliningrad was used by the Chief Rabbi of Russia as an opportunity to strengthen the glorious Jewish community there, headed by the City’s rabbi, Rabbi David Shwedik.
On the main floor of the magnificent synagogue there, Rabbi Lazar was honored with putting up a mezuza on the entrance to the city’s new Chabad House office, under the direction of the new shliach to Kaliningrad, Rabbi Avraham Boruch Daitsh.
After greetings by the community’s President, Mr. Katzman, and Chairman, Mr. Leonid Flitman, Rabbi Lazar toured the mikva which is nearing completion in the basement of the building. They parted with best wishes to all the community’s activists that they should merit to see the completed mikva very soon, which will bring holiness and sanctity to this most important city, which was known as Koenigsburg in its previous glory.