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Russia: Perm Community Launches Program for Jewish Inmates

perm jail.jpgThe Jewish community of Perm has developed a program by which they plan on assisting Jewish inmates serving time in local prisons. The first step towards its realization took place this week, with a visit of Chief Rabbi of Perm Zalman Deutch to the infamous ‘White Swan’ penitentiary in the city of Solikamsk. There, he met with the prison’s Head of Administration and discussed the possibilities for mutual cooperation in providing for the needs of Jewish inmates.

The official and the Chief Rabbi described the conversation as ‘productive’ and expressed confidence that assistance of both a moral and material would be useful to lesson the load on Jews in the penal complex, and especially those serving longer periods of time.

Immediately afterwards, Rabbi Deutch was permitted to meet with a prisoner for about an hour to speak about the living conditions there, to learn about prisoners’ general needs, and to speak to him about Passover. He also presented him a gift package for the approaching holiday, which included a box of matzah and kosher grape juice.

“It is very important to give some kind of internal peace to someone experiencing physical incarceration,” commented Chief Rabbi of Perm Zalman Deutch. “Internal peace – this is serenity for the soul. We will do everything in our power to provide for the spiritual freedom of Jewish inmates through the program we initiated today”.

The Jewish community of Perm has become a national leader in terms of the humanitarian and social programs it leads. Today, it is a proud member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.

(Source: FJC)

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