F.R.E.E. Publishing House

In the struggle to reclaim history, culture, and religion, a major obstacle is the inability to access authentic information. Exiled in Communist Russia, most Russian Jews were denied access to traditional Jewish learning in the original Yiddish, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts. Jewish libraries house the world’s oldest and most powerful stories. Innumerable volumes record five millennia of prophecy, justice, mysticism, and morality. A good translation offers a door into a previously inaccessible world of light and meaning.

In order to ease the language barrier and allow Russian Jews to access their heritage, in 1971, F.R.E.E. founded the first Jewish Russian Publishing House in the world. The F.R.E.E. Publishing House distributes Russian-language publications to the community. Publications are varied, from simple brochures to in-depth books, and everything in between.

The Publishing House currently publishes over 200 items in the Russian language providing informative and educational materials on Jewish holidays and basic observances like Shabbas, Kashrus, Tefillin, Mezuzah, family purity and more.

In conjunction with the Holiday Awareness Campaign, the F.R.E.E. Publishing House distributes over 50,000 full-color brochures on Jewish holidays. The brochures contain the history of the holiday, its customs and traditions, as well as the inner spiritual meanings as explained in the teachings of Chasidus. These holiday brochures, as well as a translation of the Megillat Esther of Purim and the Passover Haggada are circulated worldwide to tens of thousands of Russian Jews and Jewish organizations. In addition, brochures are printed in specialized editions in order to indicate proper candle-lighting times for each city.

Recently, F.R.E.E. Publishing House has launched JudaisminRussian.com, a Russian-language website dedicated to servicing the Russian Jewish immigrant community. The website contains information on a multitude of Jewish topics, including mitzvoth like Tefillin, Kashrut, Shabbas, Mikvah, Mezuzah, and circumcision. The site also contains information on holiday laws and observances for both the major Yomim Tovim like Pesach and Sukkot, to the less widely known holidays like Lag B’Omer.

JudaisminRussian.com also offers a library section with complete access to the Five Books of Moses, the Prophets, Tanya, Tehillim, the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, Philosophy of Chabad, biographies on Chabad Rebbeim and more. In addition, the site features FREE’s weekly heritage page on the weekly Torah portion, as published every Monday in America’s Russian publication, Nova Ruska Slova.

The site also offers useful English descriptions and referencing alongside the Russian text, to provide a convenient tool for English speaking Rabbis to service their Russian-speaking students. JudaisminRussian.com is another innovative effort by FREE’s Publishing House to meet the ever-increasing thirst for knowledge in the Russian-speaking Jewish community.

If you are interested in more information on the F.R.E.E. Publishing House, interested in ordering publications, or interested in opportunities to sponsor publications and make an everlasting contribution to Russian Jewry, please contact Rabbi Yosef Y. Okunov at F.R.E.E. Headquarters (718) 467-0860 Ext. 118 or Email: Publications@RussianJewry.org.

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