A new Torah scroll was donated over the weekend to Moscow's central Marina Roscha Synagogue – by Russian Parliament member Joseph Kobzon, better known as “Russia's Frank Sinatra.”
Kobzon, who has had a rich career in music, and on stage and screen, personally donated the money for the Scroll, and helped complete writing it at a special ceremony presided over by Russia's Chief Rabbi, Bernard Lazar.
Kobzon, born to Jewish parents in Ukraine has been singing and acting since the late 1950s, and is known as “the Russian Voice” in his homeland. But he is also somewhat of a “war hero,” having helped rescue five people who were being held hostage by Chechen terrorists in Moscow several years ago. Kobzon has also performed at many concerts held at disaster sites, helping to lift the spirits of survivors of natural and manmade disasters. He has won over 300 awards for his singing, the most ever for a Russian entertainer. He
In recent years Kobzon has become closer to the Jewish community, and decided to donate the Torah scroll.
At the conclusion of the dedication event, Kobzon joined friends and dignitaries in the Jewish community for a special celebratory communal meal.