KEMEROVO, Russia – An important event in the life of the Jewish community of Kemerovo took place this week, as community members celebrated the Jewish ritual of circumcision in this west Siberian city. This represents the first Brit Mila ever to be conducted in the entire Kemerovo Region since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
On this occasion, five adult men from the cities of Kemerovo, Yurga, Belov and Prokopievsk gathered together at one of the municipal hospitals in order to undergo the ceremony. The Jewish community pitched in to ensure there would be proper conditions to allow Russia’s Chief Mohel, Yeshaya Shafit of the ‘Brit Yosef Yitzchak’ Organization, to conduct the Brit Mila. He traveled several thousand kilometers east from Moscow especially to perform the ceremony.
Following the operations, Rabbi Shafit and Chief Rabbi of Kemerovo Dovid de Bresser congratulated the young men, each of whom received a Jewish name. The two Jewish leaders then headed to another city in the region – Novokuznetsk – in order to hold a circumcision to a baby aged one and a half months. These two developments have shown that the glory of Jewish tradition is finally returning to this remote part of Siberia.
The Jewish communities of Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk are members of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.