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  Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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Russian Jews have started to demonstrate a heightened interest in their national traditions and culture
Russian Jews have started to demonstrate a heightened interest in their national traditions and culture, executive director of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) Valery Engel said Monday at the 3rd FJCR Congress in Moscow. He also said that the number of Jews in Russia going to synagogues and prayer houses had increased by 15%-20% this year. According to him, the federation has a special unit to protect against ideological aggression from missionaries and sectarians. This year, dozens of demonstrations organized by the missionary groups Jews for the Jesus and the Jewish Voice were prevented in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and many other cities. "Today the federation unites 178 orthodox communities in 170 Russian cities," he said, "which speaks to the genuine renaissance of Judaism and the Jewish culture in our country." He also noted that in Russia there are 35 synagogues, 36 rabbis in 33 cities, four religious universities, a supplementary education system for children and courses to retrain Sunday school teachers. Eleven large community centers have either been repaired or built and community centers are planned to be built in another 30 regions of the country. "Nineteen general education schools with a Jewish ethnic cultural component, 16 kindergartens, 20 children's health camps, 94 Jewish Sunday schools and 368 clubs that cater to different needs are operating in the Russian Federation," he said. There is also a Jewish children's home in Moscow that raises children in accordance with Judaism. According to him, over 100,000 people are involved in the federation's humanitarian programs, more than 90,000 charity dinners are held every month, and support has been given to 128 orphanages in 114 cities. The federation provided aid to 12,712 orphans and children from disadvantaged families, distributed over 300 metric tons of food, and selective aid was given to more than 120 institutions for the minors in 52 subjects of the Russian Federation. To organize the Jewish Passover and other religious holidays, the Federation sends special instructors to help organize these events in strict accordance with the canons of Judaism. "This year, 240 such instructors visited Russian cities," he said
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