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JEWISH HERITAGE TOURS

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MOSCOW JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR

Due to the expulsion of Jews from Russia and their strict confinement within the “residential zone”, they were few Jews in Moscow prior to 1900, which explains the absence of a Jewish quarter in the capital. The 1902 census lists 9048 Jews in Moscow, or well below 1% of the city’s population.

TOUR OF MOSCOW CHORAL SYNAGOGUE

The Moscow Choral Synagogue is one of the main synagogues in Russia and in the former Soviet Union was built in the end of XIX century (architect Roman Klein).  The synagogue opened in 1906.

In October, 1948, Golda Meir, the first representative from Israel to the Soviet Union, paid an unauthorized visit to the synagogue to attend Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services, enraging the Soviet government.

The synagogue has been recently restored.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt is the spiritual head.

Meet with the Chief Rabbi of Moscow

VISIT TO BRONNAYA SYNAGOGUE AGUDAS CHABAD - MOSCOW JEWISH CENTER

This synagogue was built on property owned by the wealthy Jewish banker and industrialist, Lazar Polyakov. The building was enclosed by a fence and equipped with an underground passage that allowed visitors to leave the synagogue discreetly in the case of anti-Jewish pogroms.

In 1937 the synagogue was closed and was returned to the Jewish community only in 1991. Nowadays this synagogue is not just a temple, but also a religious center for the entire community. Today the Torah is taught here and there is a kosher store and a school that educates future rabbis and shoykhets (Kosher butchers).   

TOUR OF MOSCOW JEWISH MUSEUM AND TOLERANCE CENTER

The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center opened in Moscow in November 2012 and is thought to be the largest Jewish museum in the world. Construction of the museum is estimated to have cost $50 million.

VISIT TO MOSCOW JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

Located in Marina Roscha, this place never rests, with multiple daily services, two kosher restaurants (one meat, one dairy), and a plethora of educational and social programs. Now it is a home of Shalom Jewish Theatre, founded in the late 1980s, it attracted immediate public attention. The repertoire of the Shalom Theatre is based mostly on classical and modern works by Jewish authors, which are invariably full of gentle or grim humor. The troupe, composed of actors of various nationalities, gives performances in Russian. The theater stages traditional productions, shows for children, musicals as well as hosting concerts and poetry readings.

ST. PETERSBURG JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR

With a help of your private English-speaking guide take a detailed look into the history and contemporary life of the Jewish Community of St. Petersburg. This Tour will start at the  Basil Island, the Kolomna district, one of the oldest areas of St. Petersburg, where you will find some historical sights associated with the first Russian Jews of the 18th century, and that became the center of St. Petersburg’s Jewish life in the 19th century.

The Tour takes you to the The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg, the third largest synagogue in Europe. It was built between 1880 and 1888, and consecrated in 1893.  Today the Great Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg is a registered landmark and an architectural monument of federal importance.

After lunch at Lechaim Restaurant located in Grand Chorale Synagogue, take a private drive along the Neva River to see richly decorated palaces that belonged to the wealthiest representatives of the Jewish Community of St. Petersburg.

Visit the Museum of Ethnography to see the permanent exhibition, ‘History and Culture of the Jewish People of Russia’ . This exhibition is considered the first step to the formation of an independent Jewish museum in St. Petersburg.

About Me
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More than 25 years ago I was a co-founder of the PHAETON travel agency in Moscow, Russia. We pioneered western style travel arrangements in the last days of the former Soviet Union, bringing quality service to the Embassies and foreign businesses located in Moscow.

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