Moscow Mayor Yuriy Lizhkov attended this week’s inauguration of a new synagogue in the Russian capital.
The new Chabad Lubavitch synagogue in the Moscow neighborhood of Maryina Roscha was built on the site where the city’s first Chasidic house of worship was situated since 1926. In late 1993 the wooden house was destroyed by fire.
In 1994, Luzhkov supported the plan to construct a new synagogue in the neighborhood that at one time was densely populated by Jews.
“The city authorities will never tolerate the slightest display of inequality or oppression toward the Jews,” Luzhkov said at Tuesday’s opening ceremony.
The closest political ally of President Boris Yeltsin, Luzhkov is seeking re- election June 16, the day of the Russian presidential elections.
A source close to the Moscow city administration said the mayor did not want to ignore the Jewish electorate in light of the upcoming ballot. About 250,000 Jews live in Moscow.