Photos: Pesach with Rav Berl Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia

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Spanning the vast country, from Moscow, Siberia, and to the Far East – over 500 Pubic Seders were attended by thousands upon thousands of Russian Jews.

In Moscow alone, there were over 150 Public Seders. The largest of them was led by Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berl Lazar, in the central Marina Roscha Shul.  Before beginning the seder, special greetings from Russia’s president Mr. Vladimir Putin were read aloud to the guests. The president addressed the Jewish Holiday of Freedom in his letter which was sent to Rabbi Lazar’s offices on Erev Pesach.

Dozens of additional Pesach Seders were held in the capital city: In the Jewish Community Center of Marina Roscha, in the Shaarey Tzedek Chesed Center, in the Beit Shvidler Educational Campus, and in many other institutions near the Central Shul. The Seders were organized by language, age groups, and levels of yiddishkeit, so that every single Jew can find the Seder that is most suitable for them.

Additionally, close to 30 Seders were held in various Chabad Houses throughout Moscow; in all Shuls, Jewish Community Centers, and even in the Butirsky Prison. This is the world’s oldest jail which has been continuously working for more than two hundred and forty years, where many Jews have been imprisoned for the ‘crime’ of observing Torah and Mitzvot.

In preparation for the Seders, dozens of bochrim; children of Moscow’s Shluchim, young men from the capital’s Kolel, and about 150 students of the Yeshiva Gedola and Mesivta in Moscow, were sent out to cities all over Russia. Many of these cities do not have shluchim present all year and wait for the bochrim to come and help them make the Pesach Seders for the thousands of local Jews.

Photography: Levi Nazarov

 

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