Jewish community wants to build five new synagogues in Moscow

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) has asked the Moscow authorities to provide land for the construction of synagogues.

"We want to get five sites to build synagogues there. Obviously, there are not enough synagogues in Moscow, especially in the southern and southeastern parts of the city, where there are no synagogues, but where thousands of Jews live," FJCR President Alexander Boroda told Interfax-Religion.

Boroda said it is important that these synagogues should be within walking distance for Jewish residents.

"According to Jewish traditions, you can only walk on Saturday and on holidays, you can't use transport. There are big sleeping districts where many Jews live and they need that," he said.

The synagogues are built not only for Jews, but they fulfill a social function, he said. "We create children's groups, interest groups, which are visited by many local residents, and we also organize charity," Boroda said.

The Moscow authorities are now considering the FJCR request, he said.

"We are communicating with them constructively and we have already been offered some sites," he said.

According to Boroda's estimation, about 500,000 Jews live in Moscow, which has four synagogues and several prayer houses.

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