(JTA) — A Russian chief rabbi dedicated a Torah scroll at a new synagogue in Moscow.
Rabbi Berel Lazar, who is affiliated with the Chabad movement, installed the scroll at the Michurinsky synagogue, which opened two months ago, the Interfax news agency reported. The dedication ceremony was held May 14.
“The ceremony means that now this place gets the status of a real home of worship, where Jews can hold services in accordance with all the requirements of Jewish law,” Rabbi Michael Lidogoster, a spokesman for Lazar’s office, told Interfax.
The Michurinsky congregation is led by Rabbi Shimon Krasnodomsky, who said that daily and Sabbath prayers have been held at the synagogue since its opening, as well as Jewish learning and Hebrew lessons. Krasnodomsky added that work would soon begin on educational programs and projects for children.
According to Interfax, the Michurinsky congregation is the sixth operational synagogue in Moscow. The Russian capital has a Jewish population of at least 100,000, according to the European Jewish Congress.
Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg — Russia’s second largest city with at least 40,000 Jews — the board of the Grand Choral Synagogue said it would celebrate the institution’s 120th anniversary this month by opening for the first time to the general public, the news site regnum.ru reported Saturday.
The St. Petersburg Synagogue, which is among Europe’s largest, will be open from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday — the city’s “museum night,” when all museums are open free.