NCSJ awards philanthropist


A group that lobbies on behalf of Jews in the former Soviet Union presented its highest honor to a billionaire benefactor.

In a ceremony during its annual board meeting on Tuesday, NCSJ – formerly known as the the National Conference on Soviet Jewry – thanked Alexander Mashkevich for his efforts to renew Jewish life in central Asia, building synagogues and starting an umbrella group to represent Jews.

“It’s a real miracle what has happened today, such beautiful shuls and synagogues,” Mashkevich said in accepting the award. Mashkevich made his fortune in mining and is president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.

NCSJ also heard from William Burns, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Russia and now undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department.

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