Rabbi Aaron Gurevitch, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and army chaplain who serves as a liaison between the Federation of Jewish Communities and the military and prison systems, received a gold medal from the Russian Prison Services Administration for his work rehabilitating prisoners and improving their spiritual quality of life.
Gurevitch has been visiting prisons across Russia for the past few years, bringing Jewish books and counseling Jewish inmates. With the backing of Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, he has arranged the opening of nine prison-based synagogues.
Both corrections officials and Jewish community leaders point to the visits as a critical element in influencing prisoners to embrace a moral and law-abiding outlook on life.
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