FSU Jewry Celebrates Purim In Record Numbers


MOSCOW, RUSSIA

March 8, 2004

On March 7th and 8th, Jews from 420 communities throughout the Former Soviet Union, members of the Federation of Jewish Communities, celebrated Purim.

The FJC and its member communities distributed over 200,000 'Mishloach Manot' gift packages throughout the CIS and Baltic States.

In fulfillment of a Purim mitzvah of helping those in need, the FJC provided food packages and other assistance to more than 100,000 needy people. Volunteers from many Jewish communities are also tending to the needs of homebound and disabled Jews for the holiday.

Thanks to the Rohr Family Foundation and the Ohr Avner Foundation, more than 150,000 Jews attended 'Megilat Esther' readings and Purim celebrations, involving more than 13,000 children from the Ohr Avner Chabad school network.

This year, many Jewish communities and individuals celebrated Purim for the first time. Yet other elderly members of the Jewish community, still able to recall such celebrations from their childhood, witnessed the revival of the Purim holiday in their communities.

Many communities that don?t have a permanent rabbi celebrated Purim with guidance from visiting Yeshiva students from Russia, Ukraine and the USA. Students of the Tomchei Tmimim Yeshiva in Rostov-on-Don were particularly active, visiting communities in both Ukraine and Russia.

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