Moshe-Reuven Azman



Rabbi Moshe-Reuven Azman was born on March 14th, 1966 in Leningrad (current St. Petersburg) in a Jewish family.  His great-grandfather on a maternal line Nachman Azman studied at Lubavitch. A great-grandfather on his paternal line was a famous Lithuanian rabbi.

In his early childhood the future rabbi began to attend a synagogue on Lermontov Avenue. At that time it was a center of Jewish life in Leningrad, the center of the struggle for the right to be Jewish. Moshe-Reuven joined this struggle with youthful ardor.

Fortunately he got good teachers who were great rabbis’ blessed memory, among them Abraham Medalie, Rafael Nimotin, Geycha Velensky, and Abraham Miller.

By the end of high school Moshe Reuven had already got a smikha of Shoikhet (professional certificate) given by Rabbi Rivkin (Messenger of the Lubavitch Rebbe and head of the Beit-Din) and Rabbi Klein. He learned Shkhita studies with Rabbi Cohen, current Chairman of the Association of Chabad Chasidim for FSU.

All this time as well as today Moshe-Reuven has promoted the Jewish way of life and Torah commandments. He was repeatedly arrested and in the 1982 the chief herald of communist propaganda, newsletter “Leningradskaya Pravda” (Truth of Leningrad) called Moshe- Reuven “the enemy of Soviet power”.

In 1982 Moshe-Reuven Azman and his family got a refusal on a request to move to Israel. Future rabbi didn’t desperate and continued studies at the yeshiva. In 1986 God sent him a bride who was a daughter of Reb Zusya Hirsh Lyubarsky, a shoikhet from Kharkov. For their wedding Lubavitch Rebbe sent a blessing which Azman family keeps as the most precious treasure. In 1987 the young family finally got an opportunity to move to Israel, where Moshe-Reuven continued his studies at the Jerusalem yeshiva “Shamir”, and th at the “Merkaz Gutnik.”

His teachers were Rabbi Zalman Dubinsky, a current Head of the yeshiva in Morris Town in the U.S., Gaon Rabbi Moshe Weiner, Rabbi Zalman, Gaon Zalman Nehemiya Goldberg, Gaon Rabbi Abraham Cohen, of the blessed memory, and other famous rabbis.

While learning at the yeshiva Moshe-Reuven got a position of a Head of “Beit Chabad for Russian Jews”. As one of the best students he was delegated to Toronto. There he became an assistant to Rabbi Saltzman, a rabbi of Toronto, on work with Russian-speaking Jews. At the end of the yeshiva he received a rabbi degree from the Head of the yeshiva, the world-famous Gaon Ekutiel Forkash. In 1991, Rabbi Moshe-Reuven Azman was delegated to Ukraine to save the children of Chernobyl. During 1991- 1995 years Rabbi Moshe-Reuven worked as a Deputy Director of “Saving children from Chernobyl zone” in Kfar Chabad.

When he worked on the program Rabbi Moshe-Reuven Azman began action on the return of the Jewish community around Brodsky synagogue where a puppet theater was located.

The idea quickly gained adherents. First Jewish community got one room, and then two ones, and soon authorities of Kiev decided to give back the entire building. The puppet theater became a synagogue, and Moshe Reuven Azman got a position of a Chief rabbi of Kiev and region, and then a Chief Rabbi of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress. During his tenure, Moshe Reuven Azman restored Brodsky synagogue, founded the yeshiva, Institute for Torah’s scribes, charity dining room, three kindergartens, two schools and an orphanage, and many other charitable and educational institutions.

In 2001 Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman was officially awarded with “Badge of Honor” by the Mayor of Kiev.

In 2002 Rabbi Azman founded an international charitable foundation “Mitzvah” to order to help people, with branches throughout Ukraine, as well as in other countries, and was elected as its president.

Rabbi Moshe Azman is a messenger of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the main representative of the organization “Tseirey Chabad” in Ukraine, and the main representative of the World Center of Braslav Hasidimin the Ukraine.

Moshe Reuven Azman is a honorary citizen of Kiev, he is knight of the highest awards of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress and the United Jewish Community of Ukraine.

On September 11th, 2005 at a meeting of representatives from all regions of Ukraine Rabbi  Moshe-Reuven Azman  was elected as a Chief rabbi of Ukraine.

Since 2006 – Board Member of Mobile Chabad Center (Mitzvatank Center).

In 2009 was officially awarded with an  “Order of Merit” by President of Ukraine.

Since 2011 – Chairman of the Board of Russian-speaking Rabbies in Israel.

January 2012 – Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman become a military Rabbi of the 5th Special Forces battalion, Israel.

February 2012 – Rabbi Azman elected from the Ukraine to the European Jewish Parliament.