The Siberian Jewish community of Tomsk, Russia, will soon welcome new Chabad-Lubavitch representatives, Rabbi Levi and Gitty Kaminetzki.
Appointed by Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, the young couple expects to be leaving their home in Kfar Chabad, Israel, within a few months, and plant new roots in Siberia’s frozen soil.
Rabbi Kaminetzki visited Tomsk numerous times, becoming acquainted with this city’s Jewish communal needs to help prepare him for this position.
Tomsk is an important city in Siberia, with Jewish population estimated at about 5-6,000. Historically, it is associated with forced labor and exiled Jews. (In a feature today on “Jewish Slaughters,” the Australian paper, The Age showed a November 1910, news item about a massacre of 600 Jews in Tomsk.)
But today the city has become hospitable to Jews, and Rabbi and Mrs. Kaminetzki hope to contribute to the growth of Tomsk’s Jewish communal life.