Earlier this week, the Jewish community of Ivanovo, Russia, now on the rebound after years of stagnant activity, celebrated the opening of a new synagogue and Jewish community center.
Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar presided over the dedication of the new center, well attended by the local Jewish population, city representatives, the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities Rabbi Alexander Barada, and the Chabad representative of neighboring Kostroma, Rabbi Nissen Ruppo, who has been serving Ivanovo’s Jewish community.
Once a backwater textile town, Ivanovo has in recent decades become a fast-growing significant city in the Moscow region boasting a sizable young demographic, many universities and an international population.
The new center includes classrooms, facilities for a Sunday Hebrew school, Jewish library, a “chesed” center for humanitarian services, a kosher kitchen and a beautiful synagogue. A mikvah is scheduled for construction there as well.
“The purpose of this center,” said Rabbi Lazar as he affixed the mezuzah on the doors to the new center, “is to create a warm and inviting space where the city’s Jews can explore, connect and deepen their Jewish knowledge and commitment, and be a hub of light for the city at large.”