FACE-LIFT FOR JEWISH CENTER IN ARMENIA
Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS
June 1 2011
YEREVAN, Armenia – In Yerevan, the Mordechai Navi Jewish Community
Center was re-opened after major renovations. The reconstruction
work on the building (as well as the updating of office equipment
and furniture) was carried out in an unbelievably short time –
just 20 days. In addition, the project’s sponsor is not Jewish –
he is Armenian businessman David Galstyan.
Much attention was paid to the official opening ceremony by government
authorities. Among those invited to the celebration were the Assistant
to the President of Armenia, the Head of the Department of Religious
Affairs and National Minorities of Armenia, and Armenia’s Minister
>From Moscow, Rabbi Dovid Karpov of the “Darkei Shalom” Synagogue in
Otradnoye was the representative. He was also the representative of
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, who is also the Head of the Board
of Rabbis of the CIS Countries, who was unable to attend.
All Jewish community members attending this celebration were very
pleased with the building’s new facade, some having expressed their
feeling as a “wave of joy.” The building of the Mordechai Navi Center
– the country’s only synagogue – has truly been transformed through
this extensive initiative.
Though the building did not gain any space, the renovations have
transformed it into a much more impressive building. The official part
of the ceremony began with Mezuzahs being affixed to the doorposts
of the entrance to each of the building’s three floors.
In his speech, Chief Rabbi of Armenia Gershon Burstein – who is also
a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary serving in this region – highlighted the
enthusiasm and professionalism demonstrated by the builders under
the direction of Nikolai Khachaturov, a businessman in the field of
construction and a friend of David Galstyan.
Working at virtually all hours of the day, all participants in the
renovation process felt the importance of this building being the
community’s spiritual center. After the guests left, Rabbi Karpov
lead the afternoon “Mincha” prayer.