On, January 10, 2011 Chabad Russian Center of South Florida welcomed a new Torah. The Torah scroll was graciously donated by Mr. Emmanuil Grinshpun and Mr. Boris Litovsky, vice-presidents of Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
The generous donors were inspired to make this unique gift by their close friend and well known philanthropist, Mr. Alexander Mashkevich the president and founder of the Euro-Asian Jewish congress. The Torah is a unique gift – a century old scroll, which, in spite of its age, is in immaculate condition.
The ceremony began with an exquisite reception in the Turnberry Ocean Colony and the guests enjoyed beautiful music and a lavish spread of food.
The guests were addressed by the Shliach, Rabbi Alexander Kaller, founder of the Chabad Russian Center and by the generous donors of the Torah. The Vice Mayor of the City of Sunny Isles Beach, Mr. Louis Thaler, and Commissioner Mr. Isaac Aelion expressed their warm feelings for the growing Jewish Russian community and the important role that Chabad plays in the life of the city of Sunny Isles Beach.
Following the reception, the Torah was escorted by the crowd down the block to its new home at Chabad Russian Center. Guests carried lit torches symbolizing the light of the Torah and were accompanied by lively music. Pedestrians and motorist came to a slow stop and cheered the community members escorting the Torah, as they watched the beautiful and joyous procession.
At the synagogue, Rabbi Kaller led a special ceremony, warmly thanking the donors, and wishing them and all members of the community a long and prosperous life filled with the warmth of Torah.
Chabad Russian Center, a Jewish Russian-speaking community servicing residents in South Florida, was founded in 2002 by Rabbi Alexander and Chana Kaller under the leadership of Rabbi Abraham Korf, the regional director of Chabad in Florida.
Chabad Russian Center operates not only a synagogue but a plethora of educational and social programs for adults and children. Since 2006, the synagogue runs a Jewish-Russian pre-school, nursery, that was established with the help of Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch.
Teachers and staff communicate with children in Russian language, which makes it possible for children born and living in English-speaking environment, to learn and understand the Russian language while learning and partaking in Jewish culture and history.
Currently Chabad Russian Center plans to expand its activities: the construction of a new community center (currently the center is in a rented premise), expanding the age range of children in pre-school, bringing into its ranks new members of the community and connecting them to sources of Jewish tradition, culture and life.