28 Jan 2020 21:48

Conditions for Jewish community comfortable in Russia - Rabbi Lazar

MOSCOW. Jan 28 (Interfax) - Russia's Jewish community is the most dynamic in the world, the country's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar said, adding that it must not stop here.

"We're implementing hundreds of projects in religion, education, culture, the social sector. Every year we open new synagogues, community centers, schools, and kindergartens. The Russian community is the most dynamic in the world, everyone acknowledges that. And that's not all. Thankfully, the antisemitism level is now very low, Jews are comfortable, openly show that they are Jews, and enjoy respect of the state and a wider public," the rabbi said at the Congress of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), which opened in Moscow on Tuesday.

The FJCR press service told Interfax that in 20 years of its work, the federation took the communities in 140 cities under its patronage.

"What to expect in the future? What solutions must be found to involve everyone in our programs, in our community? How should we ensure that our communities have good prospects even in small towns, where there are a few Jews? Perhaps, that's the answer to the question if we can be satisfied. Yes, we are pleased with what we achieved. But we're far from being satisfied. Next we have to do much more!" Lazar said.

The rabbi mentioned International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 and cited the words of the Lubavitcher Rabbi on how the Jews must respond to this tragedy, "Whereas Nazis searched for every Jew out of hatred, we also must search for every Jew, but only out of love."

"One can substantially answer to the challenge of hatred only with the power of love by helping people materially, morally, spiritually. Our task is improving the life of a fellow human being, making it more comfortable and more righteous. Adding light, adding knowledge, adding love around us!" the chief rabbi said, adding that he believes it is of a particular relevance in Russia, where "they attempted to separate" the Jewish people "from Jewishness by all means" throughout the entire 20th century.