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Russian Jewish group using online marketing to deliver free matzah

(JTA) — The Russian Jewish Congress and one of the country’s leading Internet companies are partnering to deliver free matzah to Moscow’s Jews.

The collaboration with the online marketing giant Vigoda.ru will allow the Jewish organization to send 2 million emails on Thursday offering the matzah for the cost of delivery — an offer RJC hopes will help introduce the Passover staple to the homes of young professionals who otherwise would not receive matzah.

“The idea is to reach out to young and secular Jews, and to reintroduce or sometimes introduce this basic custom of Judaism,” Matvey Chlenov, the RJC’s deputy executive director, told JTA. “Like most Muscovites, they are busy with careers and raising children and will often not take the effort to spend two to three hours in Moscow’s notorious traffic jams to get to a handful of places where matzot are on sale.”

Vigoda.ru is similar to the American website Groupon, offering deals for reduced prices in a daily email that it sends to large numbers of people.

David Shostak, co-owner and CEO of Vigoda, said his firm decided to include the Russian Jewish Congress offer as “a service to the community.” Shostak, who speaks Hebrew, said he runs the company from Moscow but travels often to Israel.

Last year, the Russian-language edition of Forbes magazine ranked Vigoda among Russia’s 30 leading online businesses.

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