(FJC.ru) With representatives presenting Gov. Leonid Polezhaev a miniature of their new building's architectural plan, the west Siberian city of Omsk, Russia, this week celebrated the opening of its Ohr Avner Chabad Day School. As part of the project, a preexisting synagogue at the sitewas also renovated.

Following morning prayers in the synagogue, which drew more than 100 congregants, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, director of Chabad-Lubavitch activities in the country, affixed a mezuzah to the building's entrance. Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Osher Krichevsky, the city's chief rabbi, led a discussion with Polezhaev, who assisted the Jewish community through every stage of the construction.

The meeting continued with a visit to the school's facilities and meeting its director and chairman of its executive council. Students, parents, teachers and members of the local Jewish community all came out to show their gratitude to the visiting politician.


"It is impossible to call what I witnessed today anything other than a miracle. This is the first time in modern history that a Jewish school was completely built with support from the regional administration and its governor," emphasized Lazar. "Let's hope that this becomes an example for other regions of Russia."

For his part, Polezhaev said: "Our region is home to more than 120 different ethnic groups and there can be no doubt that the Jewish community has made a major contribution to our region's blossoming."

The Jewish leaders presented the governor with a mezuzah and a miniature of the building's architectural plan. On behalf of the entire community, 92-year-old Jewish elder Semyon Kilmanovich thanked the official for his friendship. The festivities culminated with klezmer concert.