Saturday, February 24, 2007

Emotional Celebration in Romania

It seemed a surreal flashback to prewar Europe when thousands gathered this week to celebrate the grand opening of a newly restored 200 year-old Bucharest synagogue and the dedication of two new Torah scrolls.

The event, televised on Romanian national TV included a procession through Bucharest's thoroughfares. Police closed streets to normal traffic to allow for the singing and dancing, led by Rabbi Naftali Deitsch, Chabad Lubavitch emissary to Romania.

One Torah was dedicated by the community in memory of the thousands of Romanian Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The second Torah was donated by international businessman Mr. Alan Greene in memory of his grandfather.

Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar inscribed one of the final letters in the new Torah and addressed the reception. Other prominent guests included: member of the Rebbe's secretariat Rabbi Binyamin Klein, Romania’s Chief Rabbi Menachem Hacohen, American Ambassador Nicolas Taubman, Israeli Ambassador Rodica Radian-Gordon, philanthropist Mr. Levi Leviev, President of Jewish communites in Romania Uriel Weiner and Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch,Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky.

An overflow crowd filled the synagogue dedicated to the memory of the late Romanian-born Dov Indig, killed in the Yom Kippur war in Israel.

A gala reception followed the ceremony, attended by many Chabad rabbis, community leaders, and international ministers and ambasssadors.

Lubavitch News Service, A division of the Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch.

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