Shul Appreciation Dinner Doubles as Sheva Brachos

An evening in tribute for friends and supporters of Moscow’s Central Shul doubled as a Sheva Brachos for the daughter of Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.

Photos: Levi Nazarov

Dozens of friends, supporters, and various activists gathered together for a special evening to express appreciation for their great investment in Moscow’s central Marina Roscha Shul.

Since its restoration and expansion over 20 years ago, the Marina Roscha shul serves as a lighthouse for the spiritual needs of hundreds and thousands of Jews from all over Russia, both young and old.

Its seven floors can be seen buzzing with activity and humming with the sounds of davening and Torah learning under the leadership and guidance of Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.

The directors and gabbaim tirelessly open a few more benches, initiate yet another successful project, and ensure that each and every visitor to the shul finds a place where they feel comfortable, whether it’s as part of a minyan, at a Torah class, or as a participant at one of the special events. Special attention is given to the younger visitors, children and teens, encouraging them to continue their education at one of Moscow’s many Jewish learning institutions. 

The evening was held at the new hall of the Jewish Museum in the Marina Roscha neighborhood. It began with a tour of a special and rare exhibit about the Jews of Buchara and their rich Jewish heritage. The guests were impressed by the various ethnic costumes, the traditional foods, and especially by the shuls and Torah classes which continued to function underground even during the most difficult times under Communism. The Bucharian Jews were also very active in helping the influx of Jewish refugees who came to them during World War II.

The event was emceed by the director of Moscow’s Jewish Communities, who also stands at the helm of the Marina Roscha Jewish Community Center, Rabbi Mordechai Weisberg. He invited the main speaker, the evening’s Guest of Honor, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the FSU, Philanthropist Reb Levi Levayev, who reminisced about his childhood in Samarkand, and about his esteemed father, Rabbi Avner haLevi Levayev, in whose memory the large educational complex of “Ohr Avner” schools was opened in Israel and the USA, providing hundreds and thousands of Jewish children with traditional Jewish education. 

Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar was next to speak. He thanked the dedicated gabbaim who organized this event and called upon them to expand their activities for the benefit of the central shul. 

His esteemed father, Reb Moshe Lazar, Shliach to Milano, Italy spoke next, followed by the mechutan Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Zaltzman, Shliach to Toronto, Canada.

After presenting the certificates of appreciation, Rabbi Yaakov Klein, shliach to the Arbat neighborhood and uncle of the kalla, was honored with Zimun. The Sheva Brachos were recited by various Rabbis who are active in the central shul. 

The community director and gabbaim presented the chassan with a silver tzedakah box, with blessings that their new home be a true Beis Chabad- a place of Torah, Avoda and Gemilus Chassadim. 


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