EAJC President Introduces Torah Scroll to Poklonnaya Hill Synagogue
On the 10th of May, a ceremony of presentation of a Torah scroll to the Holocaust Memorial synagogue on Poklonnaya Hill took place in Moscow. The ceremony was timed to the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. The President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) Alexander Mashkevich and the President of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) Yuri Kanner solemnly introduced the scroll into the synagogue in memory of the Jews that were heroes and victims in World War II. The ceremony, organized by the EAJC and the RJC, was prepared by the "Gift of Torah" fund.
The celebration gathered many representatives of the Jewish organizations of Moscow, including EAJC Vice Presidents Edward Shifrin, David Jacobashvili and Merab Elashvili, RJC Vice Presidents Yakov Soskin and Michael Simonov, EAJC General Council Chairman Josef Zisels, EAJC Executive Vice President Yuri Raskin, as well as the Head Rabbi of Moscow, Secretary General of the EAJC Rabbi Council Pinchas Goldshmidt, and the rabbis Dovid Karpov and Berl Tsisin. The ceremony was lead by the rabbi of the Holocaust Memorial synagogue, Alexander Feygin.
While traditional music played, the Torah scroll under a hupa (a wedding canopy) was ceremonially brought into the synagogue, and placed into the Aron Kodesh - a special receptacle for keeping scrolls.
When speaking before the participants of the ceremony and the multitude of Russian and foreign journalists, Alexander Mashkevich underscored, "It is important for us that this celebration is taking place during the days when Victory Day is celebrated - the Victory thanks to which the Jews survived. It is important to us that this is taking place in the capital of Russia, whose people suffered innumerable losses and showed incredible heroism when fighting Nazism. Today's ceremony is deeply symbolic. It is a symbol of the Jewish rebirth, a demonstration of the fact that Jewish life has preserved itself and keeps evolving. The Nazis wanted us erased from the face of the Earth; instead, it is they who have disappeared. We are thankful to Russia with her inestimable input into the Victory, and we are thank Russia's current leaders for their attention towards the needs of the Jewish community, the opposition to anti-Semitic manifestations."