Monday, September 06, 2004

17th International Book Fair in Moscow ...

...Came to a close today after giving some 10,000 Jews the opportunity to peruse books of Jewish interest.Memories of a time in the Former Soviet Union when a siddur was a forbidden posession and book censorship was de riguer, are still fresh in the minds of Russia's denizens. So the chance to leaf through and purchase from among thousands of titles on Jewish and Judaism-related publications, at a state-sponsored book fair, was a privilege not lost on Russia's Jews.The Jewish exhibit--noticeable for the Talit, the prayer shawl, which draped the book stalls featuring literature from dozens of Jewish/Russian publishing houses--was by far the largest from among the exhibits representing 81 countries.

Renowned Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua also spoke at the opening session, and later visited with Chabad representatives at the Marina Roscha Shul, where he participated in the opening of a Jewish book store. The Book Fair encompassed a wide range of discussions, press conferences, art exhibits and concerts of Jewish music--sponsored in large part by the Avi Chai Foundation, and intended to give Moscow's Jewish population greater exposure to Jewish life and culture.