Moscow Jewish Museum Wins UNESCO Tolerance Award
JNS.org – UNESCO recognized Russia’s main Jewish museum with an award for its promotion of tolerance and non-violence.
Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center received the Madanjeet Singh Prize, named for a Pakistani diplomat, at a ceremony in Paris. The award includes a $100,000 gift and is conferred every 2 years.
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar said, “Spreading tolerance is an absolutely necessary thing for Russia,” the country’s Interfax News Agency reported. The rabbi added that the Jewish community in the FSU (former Soviet Union) has become deeply involved in these efforts, especially since the 2012 opening of the Jewish Museum.
The $50 million museum and center, partially funded by the Russian government, details the history of the Jewish people, including portions dedicated to the Holocaust and to the Russian roots of Zionism.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been particularly interested in promoting the museum. He has visited the venue three times, and during his most recent visit pledged to donate a portion of his monthly salary to the museum. All public school students in Moscow also visit the museum.
UNESCO is the United Nations agency which has been accused of passing anti-Israel actions, including two resolutions last month in which the body ignored Jewish ties to holy sites in Jerusalem, choosing to refer to them only by their Arabic names.