The city of St. Petersburg recognized Russia’s newest Jewish community center for preserving the unique appearance of the city.
The $10 million Yesod building was erected in 2005 by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee with funds raised from North American Jewish federations and donors.
The preservation of St. Petersburg’s look through European facades and low-slung buildings is a point of community pride and the source of controversy in recent years as Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has sought to build a towering headquarters on the banks of the Neva River.
While the Gazprom headquarters will go forward, the vice governor of the city, Alla Manilova, said that the cityscape should not be spoiled by “ridiculous buildings and dangerous skyscrapers.”
The World Club of Petersburgers presented the award to the JCC’s director, Irit Boguslavsky, for “modern architecture in the context of the historic city environment” in a ceremony late last month.