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Learn about history of Jews in the Venice of the North. A unique tour that will reveal you tragic yet exciting history of Jewish community and its individual members in Saint Petersburg. Pay a visit to the Grand Choral Synagogue and Russian Museum of Ethnography. On request: YESOD (the Jewish community center)
Explore this recently renovated breathtakingly beautiful Grand Choral Synagogue. It's a glorious building, hidden in the narrow streets of Kolomna district, hiding Europe's 2nd largest Synagogue. This is just a quick stop on your way to the suburbs or during your city tour.
See as many highlights as one can possibly cover within a short period of time: Aurora cruiser, the first house of St. Petersburg, Nevsky Prospect, numerous rivers and bridges, Kazan Cathedral, Admiralty, Palace Square and the Hermitage museum, the Bronze Horseman monument to Peter the Great, Palace Bridge, St. Nicholas Cathedral, University Embankment with its historical buildings: Kunstkammer, the Academy of Sciences, and St. Petersburg State University, Menshikov Palace, the Square of Arts with Michael's Palace, the Mosque, the Smolny Convent, the Taurida Palace, the Foundry Prospect with the "Big House" (the KGB headquarters) and many more!
Get ready to see such notable city destinations, as St. Isaac's cathedral, Church on the Spilled Blood, Admiralty, Spit of St.Basil's Island, Peter and Paul Fortress, Aurora cruiser, Peter's Log cabin, Smolny convent, St.Michaels castle, the Russian Museum, Alexander-Nevsky lavra and much more!
On your arrival to the Grand Choral Synagogue, one of the community members will greet you and show you around the place telling the history and life of Jews in Russia and difficulties that members had to overcome to build the synagogue and establish their community. The Grand Choral Synagogue was built under the rule of Alexander II in 1888 and consecrated in 1893. Learn some facts concerning its construction and restrictions which were imposed on it. The synagogue has come through crises during the Soviet period and was demolished during the Siege of Leningrad. Nowadays you have an opportunity to behold the newly restored synagogue.
Visit Ethnography Museum (Jewish Section).
Jewish section of the Russian Museum of Ethnography tells you about the history and culture of the Jewish people on the territory of Russia. This permanent exhibition was opened in 2007 after the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin discussed this initiative with the Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon during their meeting in 2003. You will learn about the origins and traditions of the various Jewish Diasporas, as well as will see numerous historical items, like Torah scrolls, a seven-lamped menorah, historical religious books, manuscripts, photographs and examples of traditional Jewish clothing.
YESOD in Hebrew means foundation – the first-rate, central hub of Jewish life in the cosmopolitan city of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is a beautiful modern building, built in 2005 and during the years of its existence became the home of many Jewish organizations (there are 40 of them in our city).
YESOD offers various cultural, educational, social and community programs, as well as multiple projects aimed at the revival of the Jewish self-identity, affiliation with the values and traditions of Judaism and the creation of a spiritual connection with the state of Israel. YESOD of St. Petersburg is sponsored by the American Joint Distribution Committee.
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