Years of Soviet religious oppression has left many Russian Jews unfamiliar and uncomfortable walking into a synagogue. Additionally, traces of Soviet anti-religious indoctrination make it difficult to feel at home in a house of prayer. The situation is made worse by lack of Hebrew skills and unfamiliarity with the prayer book and observances.
synagogues provide an at home atmosphere for Russian immigrants.
Compatriots can intermingle and foster pride in being Jewish.
Rabbis deliver words of Torah in the Russian language, prayer-books
and Chumashim (Bibles) are printed with Russian translation
opposite the Hebrew liturgy, and Russian-language adult education
classes introduce Jews to the basic tenets of their heritage.
The entire Russian synagogue experience gradually accustoms
Russian Jewish immigrants to the rhythms of tefillah (prayer),
avodah (service), and Torah learning. In this way Russian
Jews can take ownership of their faith in a comfortable environment
suited to their unique background.
The first Russian
synagogue in the United States was established in 1973, at
1383 President Street in Brooklyn, New York. In the same building
that housed the new offices of the F.R.E.E. Headquarters.
The success of the new Synagogue encouraged the establishment
of many other Russian synagogues in areas throughout the world
that are heavily populated by Russian Jews.
Click here for a listing of all our Russian Centers