New Moscow office helping Russian immigrants prove Jewishness

(JTA) — An office to help Russian immigrants to Israel and other countries prove their Jewish status has opened in Moscow.

The Shorashim Center, also known as the Office for Clarification of Jewish Status, opened last week in the Russian capital’s Jewish Community Institutions building with a ceremony to affix a mezuzah to the door.

The office will operate under the auspices of the Moscow Rabbinical Court and the local Jewish community with the support of the Harry A. Triguboff Foundation in Israel and Toronto Friendship-the Friedberg Foundation.

The Shorashim project was founded in 2005 by the Tzohar organization to help immigrants from the former Soviet Union to clarify their Jewish status when dealing with the rabbinate.

An agreement of cooperation was signed recently between the Shorashim project and the Moscow Rabbinical Court.

Among those attending the ceremony were Moscow Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt; Israel’s ambassador to Russia, Dorit Golender, and members of the embassy’s diplomatic staff; and Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner.

"The world today is global. We get inquiries from Jews in Israel, the United States and Europe that have left the former Soviet Union years ago and today have to give proof of their Judaism," Goldschmidt said at the ceremony. "We believe that the office we are opening today is the solution to this globalization."
 

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