The Muslim father who helped with his son's Bar Mitzvah

Delegation of Chabad donors see how even the most isolated Jewish communities are brought back to Jewish observance.

Haim Lev ,

Azerbaijan schol
Azerbaijan schol
Hezki Ezra

Dozens of donors to the Chabad movement’s outreach operations in Russia recently visited Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, a predominantly Muslim country in the Southern Caucasus between Russian and Iran.

The trip was organized as part of this year’s annual Zevulun Conference, which was held in Baku, bringing together 60 top Chabad donors, including President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Former Soviet Union Lev Leviev.

During the four-day trip, the delegation, which included Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, met with students at the Ohr Avner Educational Campus in Baku.

The Ohr Avner complex, which includes preschools, kindergartens, an elementary school, middle school, and high school is home to hundreds of students.

Among the students the delegation met with at Ohr Avner were children from an assimilated Jewish mother married to a Muslim man.

Today, the children explained, thanks to Ohr Avner, the family is religious observant – with the full support of their Muslim father, who is helping his sons prepare for their Bar Mitzvas and helps the family keep Shabbat.

At the end of the four-day trip, the delegation met with Rabbi Yonah Yaakobi in the city of Kuba, and toured the city’s historic Jewish neighborhood of Krasnaya Sloboda on the Gudiel-Chai river.