In an impressive and heart-warming ceremony, a “Center for Torah Study,” the first of its kind, has opened its doors in Russia’s largest Muslim republic. Tatarstan is home to about ten thousand Jews, many of whom are members of the developed Jewish community in the capital city of Kazan under the leadership and guidance of shliach Rabbi Yitzchak Gorelik, who will also direct the new yeshiva.
The guest of honor was the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, who flew in from Moscow, together with a distinguished delegation, including Rabbi Alexander Boroda, and the yeshiva’s donor, philanthropist Reb David Aminov.
The republic’s president, Mr. Rustam Minihanov, as well as the city’s mayor, arrived with a government delegation to pay respect to this historical event. They expressed deep appreciation and admiration to the Jewish community for their positive impact on the general population.
The honorable guests were greeted by the city’s Rabbi, who introduced them to the new yeshiva, while explaining the significance of Torah learning for the Jewish people starting all the way from Mount Sinai and until today. The president, who sat and listened like a star student, was mesmerized and asked many questions. It seemed he couldn’t hide his great excitement from the new information that he was hearing.
Rabbi Lazar was honored with affixing the mezuzah to the main entrance, after which he spoke about the importance of Torah for every single Jew no matter how old, or of what background. He concluded with words of thanks to the president for all that he does to assist the local Jews throughout the year.
The President of the Republic began his speech by saying emotionally “I am still under the strong impression of the amazing things that I have heard from the Rabbi. The Jewish community here serves as an example to all of us how important tradition is, and how vital it is to pass on these values from generation to generation. I am very happy that a center for Torah study has opened today in the city of Kazan. It is the privilege and obligation of every nation. I am sure that anyone who will walk into this center, will only leave as a better person. I wish you lots of luck, and thank you to all of you.”
To the applause and great delight of the audience, the President gave a special award to Rabbi Gorelik for his investment in the development of the community and his contribution to peace and brotherhood among the inhabitants of the Tatarstan republic.
Additionally, Rabbi Boroda and the donor Reb David Aminov also spoke.
After which, the public was invited to go up to one of the magnificent halls in the new yeshiva and sit down to listen to the first class which was given by Rabbi Berel Lazar.
The event was broadcast extensively by the many media outlets who came to report about it, causing a very big Kiddush Hashem, and portraying to all the significant place that Torah learning holds in the life of Jews no matter where they may live.