Amongst the hundreds and thousands of shuls all over the world, there is one shul in the capital city of Russia that stands out both for its rich history, and for its powerful and captivating present. Who hasn’t heard of the famed Marina Roscha shul? A name that seems so simple, yet carries within it so much feeling, so many stories of mesirus nefesh, of the chassidim of yesteryear.
It’s been sixteen years from that Shabbos Zachor when the Chief Rabbi of Russia, and Rov of the shul, Rabbi Berl Lazar completed the building of the impressive 6 story, 7000 square meter community center. Today, the Marina Roscha Shul continues to grow and expand, and can be considered the crown jewel of the dozens of shuls and Chabad Houses spread out in the various neighborhoods of the capital city, servicing hundreds and thousands of Jews.
But the central axis around which the vibrant shul life revolves are the many daily organized minyanim and Torah classes starting from the early morning hours and running throughout the day until late at night. The dedicated team of gabbais also runs a plethora of programs for children and youth from a variety of Jewish backgrounds in Moscow.
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, the shul’s gabbais organized and special evening of appreciation, which took place on board a ferryboat that sailed on the Moscow River. In attendance were the shuls supporters and friends, thanks to whom the shul continues to grow and expand. It is because of them, and in their merit that there are: minyanim for davening throughout the day every day, Torah classes and learning chavrusos for business men, Mishna and Halacha Kolel for the elderly, an evening Kolel for the general public, Hospitality room with refreshments available all day, well stocked Jewish library, mikvas, Yom Tov guides published before all holidays, children’s minyan and Tehillim group, mezuzas for those who are interested, Jewish calendars before each Rosh Hashana, and a wide range of programs for each Jewish holiday.
The main speaker was the Rov of the shul, Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berl Lazar, who spoke beautifully about the importance of building a Mikdash Me’at in our times.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented by President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia, Rabbi Alexander Boroda.
The musical entertainment was by R’ Pinny Einhorn who sang and got everyone to dance in true Purim spirit.
Photos: Levi Nazarov