Russia’s far-flung Jewish community celebrated back-to-back synagogue dedications, with Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar presiding over events in the Moscow suburb of Malakhovka and in Russia’s southernmost city, the Dagestan republic enclave of Derbent. Both grand openings came in time for the synagogues to be utilized for the Passover holiday.

In Malakhovka, local community members turned out for a joyous celebration on March 23rd, five years after a fire claimed their central synagogue. Built in 1932, the building was expropriated by Communist authorities just a year later, although Jewish residents continued to pray secretly in the structure. It burned down in 2005, just months after its official return to communal hands.

Both the Jewish communities of Malakhovka and Derbent are members of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.