Mar 12, 2013
Torah Celebrates Shliach's Birthday

8 Torah scrolls were donated to the Maor center in S. Petersburg within 5 years alone - thanks to Rabbi Benzion Lipsker.

By COLlive reporter

How do thank a rabbi who has moved out to the outskirts of a large Russian city where the majority of its Jews have never stepped in a synagogue?

Members of the "Maor" Jewish Community Center of S. Petersburg have celebrated the 30th birthday of their Rabbi Benzion Lipsker in grand fasion.

A new Torah, the 8th one donated since the Chabad center opened in 2006, was dedicated in honor of Lipsker and his wife Devora Leah Lipsker.

20 percent of S. Petersburg's Jews live in the northwest Vyborgsky region and 500 of them attended the ceremony which included writing the final letters in the Torah scroll.

While the weather was typically cold, locals danced with their rabbi and his fellow Shluchim in the city, including Rabbi Menachem Mendel Pevzner and Rabbi Shaul Bruk.

Joining in were his cousins, Rabbi Aryeh Zev Raskin of Cyprus, Rabbi Shmuel Raskin of Budapest, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Lipsker of Moscow and Rabbi Menachem Margolin of Brussels.

Lipsker said establishing a center for Jewish life in the city’s northwest Vyborgsky region, rather than merely relying on the synagogue downtown, is key to reaching out to the unaffiliated Jews here.

"Many of the Jews who came to us when we opened didn't know how to open a prayer book," Rabbi Lipsker told JTA about the opening of his shul and community center.

Now, he said, some 60 to 70 locals participate in the center's activities, and about 30 come regularly to pray.

"These Jews now know that a synagogue is not a scary place," Lipsker said. "It is not inaccessible. It is here for everyone."

Daniel Agronov of the Israeli Consulate in S. Petersburg who attended the event, commented how the community's growth was most unique, even for communities out of Russia.

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Opinions and Comments
its a pleasure to see
how shluchim all over are matzliach b.h.
keep up the good work!
(3/12/2013 5:58:41 PM)
Fellow Shliach
Shkoyach Bentzy
You are truly deserving of such honours
(3/13/2013 4:54:51 AM)
Ayse Davar.......Wishing u many more Happy, Healthy, Successful Birthdays to follow
(3/13/2013 8:38:17 PM)
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