Synagogue in Grozny

11 January 2013 - 8:59am

Timur Utsoyev, Grozny. Exclusively to Vestnik Kavkaza

The administration of Grozny defined a place where a synagogue will be built for the Jewish community of Chechnya. The Subbotnikov Street where it will be situated is renamed in honor of Viktor Abramovich Kan-Kalik, the former president of the Chechen-Ingush State University. The head rabbi of Mountain Jews of Israel, Yaniv Naftaliyev, was present at the ceremony and answered Vestnik Kavkaza’s questions.

-       How will the synagogue look like? Is there any architectural project? And who will head the synagogue?

-       Regarding its architectural image, it is not clear still, there is no final decision. As for a person who will head it, it will be defined when the synagogue is built or right ahead of its opening. At the moment we are searching for candidates. We will take part in the casting, and after construction of the synagogue we plan to send a rabbi here, who will be the rabbi of Chechnya.

-       Will Jewish Diasporas help in recovery of the Chechen Jewish community?

-       We believe that such a grand event which has found response in the whole world, especially in Russia and Israel, will encourage many Jews to visit not only the synagogue, but also the Chechen Republic in general – also work and make business here. The more Jews will be involved, the greater support will be provided by us. We see positive development in the region, in Grozny where we have been. There are many reasons for people come, settle, live, and work here.

-       What does construction of a synagogue in the Chechen capital mean?

-       First of all, construction of a synagogue is a sign that the head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov treats Jewish people friendly and shows positive attitude to them. Any civilized country has a Jewish community, and the head of Chechnya doesn’t want to fell behind in this sphere.

-       Do you think it is possible to revive the Jewish community of Chechnya? What contribution can it bring to the republic’s life?

-       We are sure that when the synagogue is built, when it is opened and operates, the only question will be is how much. It depends on how much the Chechen Republic is ready to accept new people, first of all for a work; whether there are enough working places, because nobody will come here only because of a synagogue.

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