Unique Tefillin Shaped Building Dedicated in Russia

An impressive and uplifting ceremony, including the dedication of a new Torah, marked the opening and dedication of the Jewish Community Center in a Moscow suburb shaped like a Tefillin shel Rosh.

Under auspices of Russia’s Chief Rabbi/ New Torah Scroll Dedicated as well/ Government Representatives and Shluchim from Moscow’s suburb communities attend/ true Kiddush Hashem

An impressive and uplifting ceremony marked the opening and dedication of the long-awaited Jewish Community Center in Moscow’s suburb Mitischi. Where in previous generations Jewish families would meet clandestinely to practice Yiddishkeit, the seeds that were then sown with tears, were now reaped with joy.

At the request of the community president and major donor Mr. Boruch Benzion Gurovitch, the five-story building was designed in the form of Tefillin shel Rosh. The beautiful results outdid themselves: an elegant complex, beautifully designed on the inside, with both physical and spiritual beauty. Its various wings include the basic necessities for the community’s families: a mikva, a kosher grocery store, classrooms for all ages, an extensive Jewish museum, the community offices, and most importantly, a large and bright synagogue sanctuary alongside a Torah library in both Ivrit and Russian.

The inauguration celebration lasted several hours and was divided into various segments in respect of all the esteemed guests who were happy to hear about the building’s completion and came to see the wonder that was built with so much effort and investment. Amongst them were the main sponsor, community president Mr. Gurovitch, and along with him the local shliach Rabbi Yochanan Kosenko who is in charge of all the spiritual activities, Torah classes and keeping in touch with the Jewish families of the community.

The event was graced by the presence of Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar Shlit”a, who from the very beginning, when the building was just a dream, stood with the community. From the groundbreaking ceremony and throughout all stages of construction and development, he personally visited the place, his great joy now evident, especially when dancing with the new Torah scroll in which he had written the last letters. The great joy was contagious and tangible as the guests all sang and danced with the beautiful Torah scroll in the magnificent new shul.

The seudas mitzva, which doubled as a Chassidic farbrengen in honor of Yud Alef Nissan, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s 122nd birthday, it was especially poignant to recognize the Rebbe’s blessings thanks to which the hundreds of Jewish communities in Russia are flourishing. It was a very emotional moment when Mr. Boruch Gurovitch was called up to receive a personal gift of appreciation from the Chief Rabbi Shlit”a – an original letter that was written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, on this very date, the 11th of Nissan, some 50 years ago, to a Jew named Boruch, with many wonderful blessings. The letter, along with its full translation into Russian, were elegantly framed and presented, as the words of Tzaddikim stand eternally.

The mezuzas on the various wings of the building were affixed by various esteemed guests, amongst them the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Rabbi Alexander Boroda, who, in addition to his help, also hosted the Governor of the region who came to honor the event with his presence, along with his staff of deputies and senior assistants.

Also honored with affixing mezuzas, were the Rabbi of the Bolshaya Bronnaya shul Rabbi Yitzchak HaKohen Kogan, who is also a personal friend of Mr. Gurovitch, the Shliach from Be’er Sheva Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, the Shliach from Kazan Rabbi Yitzchak Gorelik, and other Rabbis and Shluchim from the region, who actively participated in the farbrengen that followed for many hours, along with the neighborhood’s Jewish residents.

Photography: Levi Nazarov

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