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With a population of over 10 million, this city of superlatives has been at the center of world events for centuries. Everything here is on a grand scale including a pre-war Jewish community of approximately 400,000 people. The Jewish community flourished and faltered depending on the Czars or political party in power. Many Russian Jews fought the Nazis courageously and their story is also told in Moscow.
To understand the true spectacle of the Russian capital, one must begin at the Red Square. With the tomb of Vladmir Lenin on the one side and the onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral on the other, as well as the glass-domed historical department store GUM, this is a good place to learn about the history of Czarist, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. From there it’s just a quick walk to the Kremlin, originally the location of the royal palace and now the seat of Russian government and official residence of the Russian President. The golden-capped churches and intricate palaces never cease to astonish and delight.
Twenty-five years ago, most aspects of Jewish life, including the speaking and teaching of Hebrew, were banned and had to be conducted underground. The most vocal Jews were called Refuseniks after they were refused the right to immigrate to Israel. These days, Russian-Jewish culture has flourished once again, and Moscow has become one of the most tolerant places in all of Europe for Jews. The Moscow State University now has a Jewish Studies department, while the Lipman School is one of four Jewish day schools. The Choral Synagogue, once full of spies and intrigue, is now one of several in the capital with a vibrant community and many worshippers. A Jewish cultural center, a Holocaust center, a large Chabad center, and several kosher restaurants and other Jewish organizations serve the 100,000 strong Jewish population in Moscow, making this city a thriving focal point of Jewish life in the 21st century!
If you are travelling to Russia perhaps you would also be interested in stopping off in St Petersburg!
If you would like more information on our Jewish heritage tours in Moscow,
If you would like more information on our private Jewish heritage tours in Moscow, please fill out the form below - or call us directly under +49 30 61 62 57 61