A special, pre-Rosh Hashana conference was held this week in Kazan, the capital of the Moslem Republic Tatarstan.
The conference took place on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, in the large shul which is located in the center of the city. In attendance were the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berl Lazar, who flew in especially for the event, as well as the Rebbe’s shliach and Rabbi of Kazan, Rabbi Yitzchak Gorelik.
The conference began with a soul-stirring shacharis, followed by the very moving sound of the shofar, announcing that the month of teshuva has arrived and the gates of heaven are open.
Later on the guests heard speeches and joined a special memorial service honoring the hundreds of “Teheran Children”, holocaust survivors who passed through Kazan 74 years ago on their way to the Holy Land.
One of the Teheran Children was Mr. Avigdor Ben-Gal O.B.M, who passed away this year. Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan spoke about him, and philanthropist Rabbi Aharon Frenkel kept the audience spellbound as he shared his personal memories of Mr. Ben-Gal.
Major General Chaim Erez, another one of the Teheran Children, and Mr. Chaim Chessler, founder of the Limmud seminar also spoke.
In attendance were Mr. Mathew Bronfman, as well as Mr. Ben-Gal’s widow and two sons.
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