This trip turned out to have a rather fluid schedule. We were truly blessed to have it change from various cities in the country (with much driving) to all events taking place in Chisinau. It was a very full itinerary and as people became acquainted with Baruch, even more invitations came in at the last minute.
We began Friday morning by returning to the Theological College. This time, Baruch was asked to teach a class on missions. We then headed over to the Jewish high school which also houses the Holocaust Museum. Pastor Cornel and George arranged for us to visit and Baruch briefly addressed one of the classes and we encouraged them to feel a connection with Israel.
Cornel’s sweet wife Lilia served as the translator for us at the Holocaust Museum. The assistant director, who spoke Russian, gave us much information about the Jewish community of Moldova. The population of the community in several cities, including the capital [Chisinau], numbered over 50% of their city’s total population just before the beginning of the Holocaust. After the Holocaust, the TOTAL Jewish population of Moldova numbered approximately 86!
The Jewish community has been decimated. Pogroms, ghettos and mass murder destroyed much of it. Most of those who managed to survive immigrated to other countries, mainly Israel.
We then visited the synagogue, where we spoke with the Rabbi. His father had led the community for 25 years and when he passed away 5 years ago, the son took over the post. He told us that the Jewish community there is very weak and it is difficult to get a minyan (the group of 10 men necessary to do the entire prayer service).
After this, we went to a large church complex which was recently purchased and is still being renovated, one part at a time. We received a tour and learned about how they are ministering to the community and they provided lunch for us as we visited with the Pastor and his wife.
In the evening, Baruch spoke at Springs of Life church.