18 Sivan 5779 , 21/06/2019

Rabbi Shlomo Duber Pinchas Lazar

Chief Rabbi of Russia; Chairman of the Council of Rabbis of the CIS
Rabbi Shlomo Duber Pinchas Lazar Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia and head shaliach of the CIS, is one of the founders of the RCE’s Rabbinical Council, and he is one of five members of the RCE’s presidium, which guides the organization’s approach and activities.
Rabbi Lazar was born in 5724/1964 in Milan, Italy, where his father, Rabbi Moshe Lazar, serves as Rav. In 5738/1978, when Rabbi Lazar completed his studies at the Milan Jewish Day School, he learned in the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, New Jersey. From there he went to New York to learn in Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim, where he was certified in dayanus.
He visited Russia for the first time in 1988. In 1990 the Lubavitcher Rebbe blessed him and sent him to Moscow to renew and strengthen Jewish life in Moscow as well as in all of Russia. He was appointed as the head shaliach of the CIS and Rav of the historic Chabad shul in Maryina Roshcha.
In 1992 he was appointed chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of the CIS and began actively to re-establish old Jewish communities.
In 1999, when Chabad rabbis established the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, they chose Rabbi Lazar to be the Federation’s Chief Rabbi. That year the Federation included 67 communities; within two years it numbered 189 communities in 170 cities.
In 2000, the Federation of Jewish Communities appointed him Chief Rabbi of Russia. With the support of philanthropist Lev Leviev, Rabbi Lazar established the Ohr Avner network of schools and post high school institutions for Jewish boys and girls in the major communities. He also founded branches of Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in a number of large cities. Moreover, his organization maintains dozens of soup kitchens and supports many chessed activities.
Rabbi Lazar has excellent relations with government officials in Russia, and with Vladimir Putin in particular, with whom he has maintained strong ties throughout Putin’s leadership as both prime minister and president.
For a number of years Rabbi Lazar has served as a member of the first and second convocations of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, and he meets with high government officials frequently.
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