The day before, September 26, at the Moscow musical theatre of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko on a large scale hosted a gala evening dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Jewish Congress and timed to the onset of the year 5777 in the Jewish calendar.
To congratulate RIVERS with the anniversary came more than a thousand guests, top businessmen, public figures, Directors, actors, musicians. Among them were chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and Adolf Shaevich chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt, Deputy foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Deputy mayor of Moscow Leonid Pechatnikov and the speaker of the Moscow city Duma Alexey Shaposhnikov.
Specifically for these celebrations in Moscow came to regional Jewish leaders, heads of Chesed, members of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish communities from many regions of Russia – Bryansk, Voronezh, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Orel, Pyatigorsk, Saratov, St. Petersburg, said the press service of the Congress.
Especially for the anniversary of the RIVERS, the theatre has launched an interactive exhibition dedicated to the 20-year history of the Congress. In the exposition there were presented the main directions of the RIVERS: memorial programs, Jewish education, Jewish culture, public diplomacy and anti-Semitism. Above the stands stood a plaster copy of “Wings of Victory” – the Memorial Victory red army, created RIVERS in 2012 in Netanya, and opposite is another big project that is yet to be realized, a monument to the poet Samuel Marshak in Moscow.
In his speech, the President of the RIVERS Yuri Kanner told about the way that over the 20 years of existence of RIVERS was a Jewish community and Jewish philanthropy in Russia. He recalled that in the days before Rosh Hashana, Jews read the “Selichot” and asking for forgiveness, and apologized for the RIVERS because of the 300 thousand people who live in Moscow the capital of the Jews of the synagogue can accommodate only six thousand, and various forms of Jewish education is not covered by all Jewish children.
Soon the tone of the speeches has changed: on stage were some of the founders of the RIVERS – the rabbis Berl Lazar and Pinchas Goldschmidt, businessmen Andrey Rappoport and Michael Friedman (the latter was in a room virtually – on the big screen). Half in jest each of them answered the questions of interest today, the community came to him through social networks: how many Jews feel about money? What is Jewish happiness? Why do Jews answer a question with a question?
Details of the concert program of the evening, the organizers until the last moment did not reveal promising high art and surprises. It was something, and more. At the theater were made by the poet Orlusha, singer Tamara Gverdtsiteli and Alexander Taluka choir, musician Peter nalitch, and the culmination was the appearance of the Olympic champion in figure skating Yulia Lipnitsky with a specially prepared for this evening’s dance number to the music from the movie “Schindler’s List”. Host of the evening was the special representative of Russian President for international cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi and Leonid Parfyonov, journalist, recently presented his film “Russian Jews”.