Rostov-on-Don is located in southern Russia not far from the Ukrainian border. It has a population of 1.1 million people including over 10,000 Jews. Once home to a bustling Jewish community with 14 splendid Synagogues and many communal institutions, Rostov now has just one Synagogue around which Jewish communal activities are centered. Erected in 1872 with donations from Jewish Cantonist soldiers, this building also represents a magnificent monument of architecture and history. The synagogue was used even during the years of the Soviet era by older Jews who were devoted to Judaism and remained undeterred from holding Friday night prayer services and observing the Jewish holidays.
Several of the most tragic events in the Jewish history of Rostov-on-Don were the anti-Jewish riots that occurred in 1883 and the pogrom of 1905, which caused great suffering for Jewish families and resulted in the synagogue being burned down.
In 1943, the Nazis massacred 27,000 Jews here. The ‘Zmiyevskaya Balka’ Memorial has been established and the Jewish community holds an annual memorial here for these victims.
Rostov-on-Don is also noted for the resting place of the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Tzadik Rabbi Sholom Ber Schneerson (Rabbi Rashab) of righteous memory, who spent the final years of his life in this city.
The shul is still the center of Jewish life in Rostov. Two years ago major restoration of the shul was completed under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Fridman (previous Rabbi to Rostov). Currently we have a daily morning minyan as well as a very nice attendance of over 100 people for shabbat services followed by a community meal.
|Jewish Day School
The Or Avner Jewish Day School was established over 10 years ago with the generous support of Mr. Lev Leviev. The school follows the Russian curriculum with an emphasis on Jewish studies and traditions. It is the only Jewish school in the region and has a very respected reputation. Currently there are over 130 kids enrolled.
|Chesed Sholom Ber
A social organization devoted to helping those people most in need. With close to 300 volunteers visiting the elderly and needy providing them with daily hot meals, meals-on-wheels, clothing, laundry services and a lot more. Chesed also runs cultural programs on premises including a Yiddish club, choir, womans club, veterans club etc…