Jewish Center of Ulyanovsk

Over 500 people participated today in an extraordinary historic event. The Jewish Community of Ulyanovsk, the city famous as the birth place of Lenin, the founder of the communist regime, has completed the writing of its first ever Sefer Torah.
The Torah was generously donated by the Feldman family; a local family who is becoming closer to Judaism.
The event began with the completion of the writing of the Sefer Torah in the Drama Theater. As the Torah was being completed, the crowd was entertained by the Ulyanovsk Jewish band “Nefesh”. When the Sefer Torah was finally completed, the entire crowd rose to escort their new Torah to its home; the shul. The Torah was lifted high and paraded down Lenin Street, which was closed to traffic by the local authorities.
Many participants were moved to tears by this miraculous event. It was hard for them to believe what they were witnessing with their own eyes. They all remember how not so long ago they would have to hide their Jewish identity. Now, on these very streets on which communism began, they are proudly parading as Jews, with the full support of the government. Tears flowed freely; their joy knew no bounds.
The Torah was escorted to the courtyard of the Shul, which was magnificently reconstructed, by the Feldman family, to look and feel like the old city of Jerusalem. With great pride and spirit the hakofot ceremony began. The exhilaration was evident by the vivacity of the crowd, as they danced their way around the bima. The dancing continued till the wee hours of the morning.
The crowd was treated to a delectable buffet, that was lavishly catered by café Jerusalem. The Feldman’s invited their family, friends, and prominent members of the community to a seudas mitzvah at an elite hall.
Every participant left with a gift bag consisting of a Friday light kit, a new community calendar, and an expedited photo album of the event.
It’s no coincidence that this day marks the fourth year since the arrival of Rabbi Yossi and Suri Marozov to Ulyanovsk. The community has grown tremendously in these four years. Various programs include: Torah classes, Hebrew school, youth club, and dance troupe. The newly renovated Jewish Center hosts a shul, kosher store and café, library, and classrooms.

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