A Jewish community center opened in the capital of Russia’s predominantly Muslim Bashkortostan Republic.
Ufa’s Jewish community celebrated the inauguration of a new community center that brings the area’s Jewish organizations under one roof. Though the center has hosted events for the republic’s 13,000 Jews since late last year, prominent figures in the Chabad-led Federation of Jewish Communities traveled to Ufa to celebrate Sunday’s official opening.
The community center will host the offices of Chabad, Hillel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, as well as local organizatiosn.
Before the Jewish community center”s construction, the Jewish community gathered only once a year at a historic synagogue in the city’s center, which has been home to the republic’s philharmonic society for decades. The head Chabad rabbi in Ufa, Dan Krichevsky, said that the new community center would unite the community and allow the region’s Jews to work together despite enmity in the past. “Sometimes there have been arguments, but in the end we all agree,” he told JTA in Moscow before the opening. “We are all one community.”
The $6 million center was built with funds from prominent supporters of the Chabad-led federation including George Rohr, Keren Keshet-The Rainbow Foundation, FJC President Lev Leviev and Eugene Shvidler.