By COLlive reporter
Photos by Shneur Shif
Family, friends and many rabbis traveled from around the former Soviet Union, Israel, the United States and Australia for the wedding of Yehoshua Leviev to Maayan Itzhaki which took place on Wednesday.
The luxurious Safisa banquet hall in Moscow, Russia, was koshered especially for the celebration, beginning with a stunning outdoor chuppah and then dinner and joyous dancing indoors.
Guests extended their warm wishes to the young couple and to their parents Lev and Olga Leviev of Moscow, Russia and Gershon and Leah Itzhaki of Melbourne, Australia.
The wedding was a closing of a circle for the Leviev family which has been instrumental in the renewal of Jewish life and communities around the former Soviet Republics.
The grandparents of the groom were R’ Avner and Chana Leviev, prominent members of the Bukharian Jewish community in Samarkand, today Uzbekistan. The family faced danger as they committed to practicing Judaism and were assisted by the underground network of Chabad-Lubavitch chassidim to keep the Jewish flame alive.
In 1971, the family was able to immigrate from Uzbekistan to Israel. Their son Lev Leviev began to work as an apprentice in a diamond polishing plant and soon established his own diamond polishing plant.
After the Revolutions of 1989, Leviev expanded his business endeavors into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He received the blessings for success in business and personal support of the Rebbe for his philanthropic activities.
Leviev became a major supporter of Jewish philanthropic causes and the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, establishing the Ohr Avner Foundation in memory of his father which opened Jewish schools across the former Soviet Union.
Today he is the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC), an umbrella body representing Jewish communities, and the president of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews.
“The wedding this week was one more important indicator of how the Jewish community in Russia has survived the dark Communist times to become a thriving and proudly Jewish hub,” one participant told COLlive.com.