28 December 2016, 18:48
Rabbi Lazar makes offer to Putin to set up tolerance centers in other Russian cities along with Moscow
Moscow, December 28, Interfax - Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to open other tolerance centers in Russian cities and hold an International Interreligious Forum in Russia.
"I would like to discuss with you how we can be useful here, inside Russia, even more. Perhaps, [it is necessary to open] additional tolerance centers in other cities," Lazar said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which head of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda also attended.
Lazar recalled the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Center, which has been opened in Moscow. The museum was recently awarded a UNESCO prize, he said. "The most important thing is that they see in us an instrument to correctly teach a tolerant attitude and relationship between religious confessions, national communities in Europe and all round the world," the Russian chief rabbi said.
"It would also be very correct, we have discussed this with the patriarch, to convene an International Interreligious Forum, because Russia's experience in the relationship between the religions is unique," Lazar also said.
The congress of European rabbis was recently held in Moscow, he said. "The rabbis saw what is happening here: what relations, what atmosphere [are here], how confident, comfortable Jews feel. They said: "In Europe we have unfortunately not seen this for a long time already, and we even do not know what will happen tomorrow." It is necessary to show them our experience, I believe that, in particular, the fact that we really live in peace, friendship and mutual understanding," Lazar said.
The primary task of any religion is love for your neighbor, respect, he said. "And I believe that Russia today has become a place where the work of religious communities is really valued, and the contribution and the result of this work is already understood. We are very grateful for this," the chief rabbi said.
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