KAZAN, Russia - The President of the Republic of Tatarstan donated $400,000 to the Jewish Community of Kazan, to renovate the historic synagogue and Jewish school building.
This winter markes the tenth year since the Jewish Community, received the keys to the synagogue after 70 years of being closed by the communist regime. Ten years ago Rabbi and Mrs. Yitzchok Gorelick were sent by the Chabad Lubavitch movement to rebuild Jewish life in the city, and have successfully established various religious and educational institutions.
The Kazan "White Stone Kremlin" served as host to the event, where the President gave a warm speech congratulating the Jewish Community. He stated that the Jewish Community will always feel at home on Tatar soil, since its aim is to unite all peoples, regardless of race or creed.
Rabbi Yitzchak Gorelick, the Chief Rabbi of the republic and Chabad Lubavitch representative to Kazan, responded by saying that "A thriving multinational society, depends on a respectful atmosphere, which influences all citizens of the republic and expressed the commuinities appreciation for the goverment grant for the rebuilding the Synagogue and Jewish day school.
The Chairman of the Community Mr. Alexander Velder, briefed the President with the Community's activities throughout the past 10 years, including the humanitarian activities of the organization "Chesed," funded by The American Joint Distribution Committee, who serve more than 3,000 clients in the republic. He also described the work being done by the youth groups run by Hillel, the Jewish Agency and Chabad.
During this meeting, the Mayor of Kazan took upon himself the responsibility for rebuilding the synagogue foundation which has stood for over 100 years. Rabbi Gorelick then received the "Kazan Medal," an award created by Russian President Vladimir Putin in honor of the 1,000 year history of the City of Kazan.
The Jewish Community of Kazan is a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia