A new children’s educational center opened its doors in FJC’s Jewish community of Krasnoyarsk, Southern Siberia this week. Designed by Israeli architects, the center includes a children’s tolerance museum, a Sunday school, a well-equipped gym, and auditorium, and dance studios.
The opening was attended by Krasnoyarsk’s governor, Viktor Tolokonsky, who spoke of the Jewish community’s initiatives to develop the city’s cultural scene as a whole. “Krasnoyarsk is now home to such a unique children’s center that carries a strong message of mutual respect and understanding,” he said at a meeting with the chief rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, before the opening. The mayor also noted that the center’s opening will stimulate further development by the municipality.
The center also hosts an interactive exhibit, “Museum-Lectorium,” which allows all children to become familiar with the basics of Jewish culture. Here they can visit the tent of Abraham, try on traditional Jewish clothes, watch educational cartoons, see and touch the Torah scroll and even try writing Hebrew letters on kosher parchment.
Rabbi Benjamin Wagner, Chabad’s representative to Krasnoyarsk, said the center “was conceived to allow children to learn and play independently.”
A festive concert and a celebration for Krasnoyarsk’s followed the formal opening.