This is Lonya. He has been the president of local Jewish obshina (community) for the past 5 years.

He is really dedicated to the community and anything that has to do with it. He also takes care of the cemetery. Apparently he does a very good job—so we heard from everyone in town.

The minyan (prayer group) at the synagogue is one of his daily highlights. Three PM in the winter and seven PM in the summer, a bunch of elderly gentlemen gather and pray together—all in Russian. Truly uplifting prayers!

We came there every day of our visit and put on tefillin with everyone in attendance. Afterwards, if someone is observing yahrtzeit (anniversary of a passing) for a loved one, they will raise a glass of shnapps and drink to the memory of the departed.

We gave the obshina a pair of tefillin on the last day, and we taught Lonya how to put them on. He promised to put them on with the other fellows every day.