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Chabad launched its first Mitzvah Mobile in Moscow. The vehicle, a large trailer home adorned with Jewish symbols, has been driving the streets of the Russian capital since the beginning of Chanukah. Its mission is to expose people, especially secular Jews, to Jewish traditions and customs.

Rabbis, distributing Shabbat candles to women and teaching men to don tefillin, ride along on the missions.

The response has been extremely positive, according to a news release by the Chabad-led Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. “I was shocked by the overwhelmingly positive response we got from strangers on the street,” said Rabbi Shmuel Kuperman, who made the inaugural run. “People were streaming into the mobile with only smiles and good cheer. It was not what we expected to happen in the center of Moscow.”

The Mitzvah Mobile has been a fixture in large American cities since 1974, but was making its Russian debut in Moscow.

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