(FJC.ru) The summer vacation season has been an active time for the Jewish community of Nizhny Novgorod. Led by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Shimon Bergman, the chief rabbi of the central Russian city, the community opened a kosher food store, moved closer to completing the restoration of a historic 19th-century synagogue, and operated three summer camps.

The food store is the first such establishment for the city, home to an estimated 12,000 Jews, in years. It carries an assortment of products from Moscow, S. Petersburg, other cities throughout the former Soviet Union, and Israel. Charitable support of the store allows it to sell kosher chickens at a reduced price.

“While we don’t have separate premises for the store, we are operating out of the first floor of the synagogue,” said Avraam Miylnikov, the store’s owner and a student at the local yeshiva. “Here, we were also able to organize a section for books and Judaica.”

The synagogue itself, which was built in 1883, is approaching its former glory. According to officials, only interior finishing touches remain of a reconstruction effort begun in 2000.

Other summer activities in Nizhny Novgorod include its summer camps. The camps, part of the worldwide network of Camp Gan Israel institutions, include a program for the city’s yeshiva students aged 10 to 13, a larger program for Jewish boys throughout the region and a separate session for girls.

The Jewish community of Nizhny Novgorod is a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.