Establishing Jewish identity in Russia

January 27, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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A new office dedicated to establish Jewish lineage and Status under the hospices of the Rabbinical Court of  Moscow (Moscow Bet Din)  has opened in Moscow  in cooperation and with the support of the Australia based Harry O Triguboff Foundation and the Toronto Friendship—the Dov Friedberg Charitable Fund.

Shalom Norman greets Ambassador Dorit Golender

The ceremony was attended by the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt, Israel’s ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender ,  the Triguboff Foundation’s representative  Shalom Norman and Leaders of the Russian Jewish Community .
The new Office for Clarification of Jewish Status is sited in the Jewish Community Institutions building and will operate under the auspices of the Moscow Rabbinical Court and the local Jewish community and with the support of the Australian and Canadian philanthropic groups..
Others attending the mezzuzah-fixing  by Rabbi Goldschmidt included Bureau chief Yaakov Shumiatsky, members of the diplomatic staff at the Israeli embassy, Mr.Yuri Kanner RJC (Russian Jewish Congress) President and Mr.Alik Nadan Director, JDC Representative Office in Moscow and Central Russia.

Adjunct to  the decision to open the Moscow Office, an agreement of cooperation was recently signed between the Moscow Rabbinical Court under the leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmit and the “Shorashim” Project, which works extensively in the field of clarifying Jewish status among immigrants from the FSU and Latin America living in Israel. After a significant increase in the number of people applying to clarify their Jewish roots, cooperation between “Shorashim” and the Office in Moscow will enable significant expansion of the activities connected with clarification of Jewish status and Jewish Lineage both for individuals and families. The expansion will also enable to facilitate the provision of responses regarding complex issues of clarification of Jewish status, and even offer assistance in urgent cases of former Russian citizens submitted from Israel and the other communities in the Diaspora.
Shorashim Project: is about providing professional and responsible assistance, together with a friendly and respectful attitude towards each and every applicant. The Shorashim staff members meet members of the family from different generations, speak to

Harry Triguboff

them in their own language, collect essential data, and compile the file as required for presentation to the Rabbinical Court. When necessary, they instruct the applicants how to complete the missing details and assist in acquiring additional information from overseas, meet with distant relatives, prevented from appearing before the Rabbinic Court, and piece together partial data. The “Shorashim” Project is supported by Jewish Foundations overseas: the Harry O Triguboff Foundation and Toronto Friendship..
Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmid said: “The world today is global. We get inquiries from Jews in Israel, the US, and Europe that have left the former Soviet Union years ago and today have to provide proof of their Judaism. We believe that the office we are opening today is a significant step forward in the efforts to

Rabbi Goldschmidt affixes the mezzuzah

face  the challenges of the Jewish community in this Era of Globalization. The “Shorashim” office has been active in Israel and today we opened a local Moscow based office that will enable us to work jointly with the office in Israel and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.”
Rabbi Goldschmidt who serves as the President of The Conference of European Rabbis mentioned that a special Rabbinic Conference to be held in Berlin before Pesach will be dedicated to “Shorashim” activity and Jewish Lineage issues in which representatives from Israel and the US will be invited.

The Israel ambassador Ms. Dorit Holander added: “I give my blessing to the new center that will be working in joint efforts with the “Shorashim” office in Israel. I am glad to be here today, as the consulate is looking to be more accessible to the community. We will do all that we can to assist the important mission of proving Jewish Lineage.”
Director General of the Harry O. Triguboff Foundation in Israel, Shalom Norman told J-Wire: “The opening of the Moscow Office is an additional strategic step of unprecedented importance in the wide range of activities being carried out in connection with clarifying the Jewish Lineage and status of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union. We invest considerable efforts in working towards ensuring an accepted definition by all fragments of the Jewish status for Jews in Israel and in Jewish communities in the Diaspora, in an effort to establish a “joint Jewish table” at which Jews of any affiliation can dine together , may it be Ultra-Orthodox  Secular or Agnostic  Litvaks and Hasidim.”

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