On October 30, 2012, a Memorial meeting was held as a Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions in Russia.
The ceremony took place at the "Levashovo Wasteland " located near Leningrad, one of the huge secret burial sites of the NKVD-MGB among many others in Russia (former USSR). In a silent corner of the forest, protected by a high fence with barbed wires on top, and well groomed tracks with the rare sound of a bell, graves were set by visitors quite differently from ordinary cemeteries : on trees, portraits of the people executed on the ground, mounds lined with cones or stones – it is impossible to say for sure exactly where any of the people were buried. Those who lie there were all honourable people from Russia who were shot, murdered or tortured to death in the dungeons of these institutions, under false pretences, by denunciations, and without trials. Millions of lives were taken.
The ceremony was attended by Alik Frenkel, Director of the Jewish Community Centre, Leonid Kolton, Director of the Hesed Abraham Charity Organisation, Mark Grubarg, leader of the St. Petersburg Religious Community "Grand Choral Synagogue", the Social Organisation of Jews, World War II veterans and disabled lead by Grigoriy Matveevich Lerner, the Progressive Judaism Community "Shaarei Shalom" of St. Petersburg represented by Elena Rubinstein, Talia Volkovicher, Director of the Jewish Agency in Russia in St. Petersburg and the Northwestern District and Eudard Shapira, Consul General of the State of Israel in St. Petersburg.
Representatives of Jewish organisations laid flowers, wreaths and memorial stones at the bottom of the Jewish monument, a sculpture by Edward Zaretsky installed in 1997 at the memorial cemetery and candles were lit. Baruh Finkelshteyn, President of the B'nai B'rith Lodge in St. Petersburg read the memorial prayers.
It was agreed that this ceremony should take place every year, involving young people together with all the Jewish organisations in the city.
May the memory of the innocent victims be blessed.
B'nai B'rith St. Petersburg held a Jewish Humor Day on September 2 in Russia.
Members came together for a meal and a laugh. The program was held in-conjunction with the Hesed Abraham business club.
Leadership of B'nai B'rith St. Petersburg are looking to turn it into an annual program.
On May 1, 2012, B'nai B'rith International welcomed St. Petersburg as our newest lodge. Ralph Hoffman, president of B'nai B'rith Europe, attended the program and pinned new members. Additional leadership from throughout Europe also attended the event.
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