On Motzei Shabbos Parshas Vayikra, which was Rosh Chodesh Nissan, a special evening of recognition was held for friends and supporters of the central Beis Menachem Shul of the Marina Roscha Jewish Community Center of Moscow. It is seventeen years since the shul has moved into its spacious home.
The event was a Melava Malka which was held on a ferry boat as it sailed on the Moscow River. It recognized the support and assistance of all those who enable the central shul to grow and expand in its many activities, reaching out to hundreds and thousands of Jews in the capital city of Russia.
The first speaker was the Shul’s Mara de’asra, Chief Rabbi of Russia Rabbi Berel Lazar. He began with a Chasidic story as is customary to relate at a Melava Malka, and connected it to the Rebbe Rashab whose yahrtzeit began that night, on the second of Nissan. He continued with praise and words of appreciation for the shul, for its constant expansion and growth, with more and more people coming to daven and learn, thanks to the dedicated Gabbais and dear Shamash Reb Tzvi Hirsh (Grisha) Gerzhoy.
The next speaker was Rabbi Mordechai Weisberg, Director of the Marina Roscha Jewish Community Center, who spoke on behalf of the Gabbais and presented the Shul’s ten current projects:
- Continuous minyanim for davening during all hours of the day, bringing in special Baalei Tefila for Yomim Tovim, and arranging plenty of taleisim and kippas for all.
- Center for Torah classes, pairing up chavrusas for learning, regular shiurim in gemara, halacha, chassidus, agada, and special learning competitions with tests and monetary awards for those who excel.
- Beautiful mikvas that are continuously maintained mehudar and clean, with free entrance.
- Rich Torah library, with new books constantly added, old ones repaired, and a consistently organized look that is respectable for a Shul.
- Hachnasas Orchim Room with light refreshments, hot and cold drinks at any hour,
Farbrengens on every Shabbos Mevorchim and Chassidishe date, large annual Yud Tes Kislev celebration, as well as plentiful refreshments for all at the end of fast days.
- Ner La’Maor, providing women and girls with candles every erev shabbos and yom tov, candles for the baalei tefila, yohrtzeit candles in memory of those who passed away this year.
- Children’s programs during davening on Shabbos and Yom Tov, special programs for the younger ones during Krias haTorah, Chevra Tehillim on Shabbos afternoons and Shabbos Mevorchim mornings, as well as an educational program for girls on Shabbos afternoons.
- Organized trips to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, for Shabbos Slichos, as well as separate organized trips for men and women on special dates.
- Special publication department in Lashon HaKodesh as well as Russian, published “The Visitor’s Guide to Shul”, weekly “Sichas Hashavua” in Lashon HaKodesh and Russian, detailed guide books before every Yom Tov and more.
- Distribution of Davening times in the Central Shul, regular advertising throughout Moscow of Shabbos candle lighting times, when shabbos ends, as well as monthly halachic times for Moscow.
One after the other, the dignitaries were called up to accept their certificates of appreciation from the Chief Rabbi of Russia Rabbi Lazar, and the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia, Rabbi Alexander Boroda.
Members of the “Solomon Club” were also thanked for their generous contribution to Kimcha de’Pischa, and received awards.
The crowd enjoyed music and singing by the menagnim Reb Yitzchak Filmer and Reb Aryeh Hill from Eretz Yisroel.
Special gifts including shmura matza and wine for Pesach were distributed at the end of the event to all participants.
Photos by Levi Nazarov