Berel Lazar: Jews feel comfortable in Russia

Berel Lazar: Jews feel comfortable in Russia

The sixth congress of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) opened in the Moscow Jewish Community Center today.

 

The FJCR celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The congress is expected to be the most representative in the last 15 years, gathering delegates from 178 Russian cities. The attendees will discuss countering xenophobia and anti-Semitism, the work of Jewish communities in the field of education and social services, youth policies, and the near-term prospects of Russia's Jewish community. Guests from Jewish communities from other CIS countries and beyond, charity representatives and diplomats will take part.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the participants and guests of the VI Congress of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. 

 

On the eve of the Forum there was a press conference with the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, President of the FJCR, Alexander Boroda, and the head of the Department of Public Relations of the FJCR, Boruch Gorin. "Our community is one of the best in the world, very active, very united. In reality, there are few places where the Jewish community is so organized as in Russia," Lazar said. 

 

Jews, in his opinion, have the opportunity to live a full life in Russia without abandoning their religion and culture. "Synagogues and Jewish centers are now in all major cities. Look at how many people visited synagogue. 15 years ago, Jewish education took its first steps. Now Jewish youth has every opportunity for education. We have opened the largest Jewish Museum in Europe. The more everyone knows about it, the less reasons for anti-Semitism," he said.

 

"We have excellent relations with the followers of other religions," the rabbi said. "Our country is going through a difficult period, and this congress is held precisely in order to allow community leaders to understand the importance of their work at this time," Lazar said. "Our message today is to always try to do more, if you can do more," he concluded. Alexander Boroda and Boruch Gorin do not fear sanctions because of the reception of the Crimean communities. "We have achieved good results. The community in Simferopol is registered, communites in Sevastopol, Yalta, Kerch and other cities are in the final stages of re-registration," he said. "Representatives of the Crimean communities are at this Congress, we have included them in the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. We are a unit organization that brings together different parts of the Jewish communities and regions of Russia," he said. In this case, Boroda said that he does not include the possibility of being subjected to sanctions by Western countries. "Because the questions of morality and ethics, Jewish life are outside the boundaries of and political relations between the two countries. We are convinced that we are doing the right thing," he said.

"We have excellent relations with the followers of other religions," the rabbi said. "Our country is going through a difficult period, and this congress is held precisely in order to allow community leaders to understand the importance of their work at this time," Lazar said. "Our message today is to always try to do more, if you can do more," he concluded. 

 

Alexander Boroda and Boruch Gorin do not fear sanctions because of the reception of the Crimean communities. "We have achieved good results. The community in Simferopol is registered, communites in Sevastopol, Yalta, Kerch and other cities are in the final stages of re-registration," he said. "Representatives of the Crimean communities are at this Congress, we have included them in the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. We are a unit organization that brings together different parts of the Jewish communities and regions of Russia," he said. 

 

In this case, Boroda said that he does not include the possibility of being subjected to sanctions by Western countries. "Because the questions of morality and ethics, Jewish life are outside the boundaries of and political relations between the two countries. We are convinced that we are doing the right thing," he said.

 

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