News


Newly Completed Torah at FREE Headquarters
Hundreds gathered at a gala procession to escort the newly completed Sefer Torah scroll which will be used for services at America's first Russian Synagogue at FREE Headquarters.
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FREE Presents Award to
Mr. Lev Leviev

FREE's Vice President, Rabbi Hersh Okunov and Mr. Isaac Lieberman presented Mr. Lev Leviev with a special gift at the Bukharian Jewish Congress Gala Inaugural Dinner.  Read more


Megillat Esther now published in its ninth edition and revised
FREE Publishing House, has released a new revised edition of the Megillat Esther, featuring the original Hebrew text with the accompanying Russian translation, it has been enhanced in several ways: the whole volume, both Hebrew and Russian, has been reset in a clear, crisp typeface.  Read more


Haggadah is published in 21st editions and revised
The new Haggadah Shel Pesach with Russian translation is at the FREE office. The revised edition was enhanced in the following ways. The entire volume, both Hebrew and Russian, was reset in a clear, crisp typeface.  Read more


The Heroic Struggle

The Heroic Struggle—The dramatic story of the imprisonment and release of the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneersohn, in 250 pages. Published by FREE Publishing House, a division of FREE (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe), Tel. (718) 467-0860, in Shvat of 5766 (2006).  Read more


Rambam writings translated and published in Russian
Brooklyn, NY - Never will the 12th century cities of Cordoba, Fez and Tiberius get more connected to modern Moscow, Be’ersheva and Brooklyn than by the newly published Russian-language book titled “Rambam - Collected Writings”.  Read more


Preschool at FREE of Brighton Beach Expands
Mazel Day Care, a preschool at the FREE Center of Brighton Beach,
has recently completed its construction on new classrooms to accommodate the needs of growing school, when the doors opened in September of this year over 40 children were enrolled in the preschool, says Mrs. Chani Okunov, Mazel’s Educational Director.  Read more


FREE Throws Gala Bar Mitzvah Celebration
Eight Russian boys from the former Soviet Union, were treated to a splendid bar mitzvah celebration recently. The party and rituals were enjoyed by the boys, their families and friends. The boys all had expressed an interest in becoming bar mitzvah.
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L’Dor Vador — From Generation to Generation
American-Russian Jewish leadership and FREE officers are very proud by what they see developing in the second and third generation of Russian-Jewish immigrants: Torah education and a commitment to Yiddishkeit. As FREE marks its 36th anniversary, they are encouraged by the continued progress.   Read more


Boys Choir Thrills Audiences in Three Cites and at Gracie Mansion
It was the Chanukah of 2003 that M-Generation Boys Choir debuted on stage in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, in Berlin and in Düsseldorf. The group of seven with ages ranging from 6 to 12.   Read more


From Hunting Wolf to Donning Teffilin
Cincinnati, OH — Fourteen-year old Aaron T. recalls with pain the hardships he went through in a Ukrainian forest trying to stay alive. “We lived out of a tent for two years in the bitter cold,” he says. “We would collect wood and make fires to keep ourselves from freezing.” 
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New “Symbolic Art” of Yossi Rosenstein
A Russian-English language Jewish calendar depicting the grandiosity of Jewish life through symbolic art was distributed this week by FREE, to some 170,000 Russian-Americans. The release took place a few weeks before Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year of 5766.   Read more


Music Without Borders Concert

Rabbi Hershel Okunov, Director FREE of Brighton Beach, commented with astonishment about the Music Without Borders Concert in the spring of this year. Performing at the concert were the Moscow Synagogue Choir and M-Generation, the local boys choir, all from Russian-Jewish immigrant families.   Read more


Camp Gan Israel - FREE's Winter Wonderland
Kingston, New York State - Twenty-five Jewish boys had the time of their lives here during this year's Chanukah vacation at Camp Gan Israel. They rollicked in skiing, snow tubing, ice-skating and other winter sports over a good part of the eight-day vacation at FREE's upstate vacation camp.
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Circumcisions--They’re Not Just for Babies
When we think of a bris ceremony, most of us envision a pink-hued baby boy laying on a satin pillow and a synagogue packed with eager relatives. But did you ever imagine that this very ceremony that has been practiced for millennia on eight-day old infants would also be performed on grown Jewish men? Well, miraculously it is! Recently, Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe proudly celebrated its 13,000 bris and many of them on adults.   Read more


FREE’s Alumni’s Unite

On a Sunday afternoon in March of 2004 hundreds of FREE alumni and friends gathered to celebrate the organization’s 35th anniversary. The event was held in the balloon-decorated ballroom of the United Lubavitcher Yeshivah on Ocean Parkway. The festive occasion featured an inviting smorgasbord decked with delicious hot foods, a salad bar, a special desert and a Viennese table with a special l’chaim bar. 
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Remembering the Annihilation of Bogdanovka
Among the hundreds of monuments that form the stark and moving Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial – monuments bearing familiar names like Auschwitz, Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen and Babi Yar – one stone, the most recently engraved, stands out. It stands out because you have never heard of the village it memorializes – Bogdanovka.   Read more


A Concert, Menorah Lighting, House Visits & an Art Auction
The Russian-Jewish community of Brighton Beach and environs took part and enjoyed four Channuka events at FREE Center of Brighton Beach. Some 500 community people, young and old, were thrilled at the “Welcome Channukah” concert featuring Cantor Abraham Pressman, of Israel, and the award-winning M-Generation Boys Choir.
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