The Jewish community of Perm, Russia, celebrated its first Torah dedication in more than a century with a cavalcade of revelers from towns across the country's western Urals.

Visitors from Kizel, Kungur, Krasnokamsk joined Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Mikhoel Urin, chief rabbi of Izhevsk, for the March 9 ceremony that march through the streets of Russia's 13th-most populous city. The new Torah scroll was donated by Perm's Jewish community in honor of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.

"This is a big celebration not only for the Jewish community, but for the entire region," commented Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Zalman Deutch, chief rabbi of Perm. "Today, we have the opportunity to carry out this event in full Jewish tradition.

"The local authorities were also very supportive," he added. "And it couldn't have been done without our generous sponsors."

Located in central Russia, Perm was established in the 18th century as an industrial center at the junction of the Yegoshiha and Kama rivers. In time, it became a place of exile for criminals and political enemies of the government. Some 7,000 Jews, out of a total population of 1 million, call the city and surrounding region their home. The Jewish community runs a kindergarten, Sunday school, Jewish day school, newspaper, youth club, women's club and adult education program.

At the Torah dedication, celebrants witnessed a ritual scribe finish writing the last few letters of the sacred scroll before heading out from the Puppet Theater for a procession through the city center. A wind orchestra and dancing accompanied the line of people as they made their way to the Jewish community center, where a dinner was waiting.