When Rabbi Berl Lazar arrived to Moscow for the first time 35 years ago, today’s magnificent Marina Roscha Shul, a multiple floor massive community center, was but a distant dream. Marina Roscha of 5747 was but a small dilapidated shack, symbolizing the city’s need for a Jewish renaissance.
The Moscow community hosts a yearly dinner to honor its supporters, but this year’s dinner was combined with another special occasion, the sheva brachos of the Chief Rabbi’s daughter and son in law.
The celebration was held on Sunday night 15 Teves in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel near the iconic Red Square. The annual tribute for friends and supporters of the Marina Roscha Shul took on a special meaning this year, marking 35 years since the beginning of Rabbi Lazar’s shlichus. In the decades since, he turned that small, dilapidated shack that was Marina Roscha into a large impressive building full of Torah, Tefilla and Chessed, a beacon of light for all of Russian Jewry.
Currently, the shul serves hundreds and thousands throughout the year with tefilos around the clock, Torah and Chassidus classes the country’s best teachers and lecturers, chavrusa learning, simchas, and myriad activities available for all to participate.
The center acts like a sort of “Jewish train station”, where guests who come from far and wide are always greeted with a smile.
The shul’s many projects and programs are available thanks to the constant support of its supporters and friends, those who see from up-close how full of life the shul is, and how the dedicated Shluchim and staff never cease to create new projects and initiatives.
Rabbi Mordechai Weisberg, Director of Moscow’s Jewish Communities, called up each of the supporters to thank them publicly and presented them with a certificate of appreciation and a new sefer. President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia, Rabbi Alexander Boroda, was also thanked for his constant support.
The event was combined with an exquisite sheva brachos in honor of Rabbi Lazar’s daughter Sara Lazar and her chosson Rabbi Naftoli Wilhelm, son of Rabbi Yitzchok Wilhelm, librarian of the Rebbe’s library in 770. The wedding, which took place last Wednesday made a big Kiddush Hashem with many hundreds in attendance, including government representatives who experienced a traditional Jewish wedding for the first time.
Live music and spirit dancing accompanied the evening, led by singers and musicians Moshe Dovid Weismandel and Menachem Mendel Sofer, making the evening a truly joyous occasion.