CONTACT - AZERBAIJAN
Bul-Bul ave. 36, Baku, Azerbaijan, AZE1009
Fed Tax ID#: 11-3245314
THE VAAD HISTORY
The idea to found the Vaad L’Hatzolas Nidchei Yisrael arose in
1976 when Rabbi
and Mrs. Mordechai Neustadt visited the Soviet Union. On that trip
tashmishei kedusha in to Russian Jews. The inspiration that Rabbi
from that trip served as the seed that eventually flourished into the
idea to send
organized groups of Jews to bring spiritual nourishment to those stuck
In 1981, at the behest of Rabbi Neustadt, four shlichim were
dispatched to Russia. They met with young Jews in Moscow, Minsk, Vilna
and began to teach the first baalei teshuva in the young, fledgling and
illegal baal teshuva movement on Soviet soil. In those days, innovative
smuggling in sefarim and tashmishei kedusha had to be utilized. Sefarim
generally photographed and then the pictures were brought in and
distributed to the growing network of young Jewish men who wished
to learn about
1983 found the Vaad conducting a clandestine summer camp
in Yurmula while
further expanding their activities to East Berlin. That year, 18 shelichim
During those years, the Shelichim would come and simply
continue learning with the
Russian Baalei Teshuva from where the previous Shelichim had left off.
for learning was practically insatiable.
Throughout the 1980’s more and more Shelichim journeyed
to Communist Russia as
an increasing number of seminars were held. All of this action was
under the watchful eye of the KGB.
By 1990, when Communism was in its death throes, 128
shelichim went and in 1991 the number was up to 206! Those two
years saw an explosion in the Vaad’s operation. It was then that the
Tbilisi Yeshiva opened as well as 2 girls’ seminaries, one in Moscow
and one in Kishinev.
In the early 1990’s, the Vaad expanded even more. It began to
organize tours led by Hagaon Harav Shmuel Kamenetzky shlita, and
the Novominsker Rebbe, shlita, among others. Towards the end of the
1990’s, Harav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, became heavily involved in
the Vaad’s activities. In 1999 he led the chizuk mission to all of the
Vaads myriad institutions, and in 1999 Rav Salomon assumed the
nesius of the Vaad and continued leading the missions for many years.
In 1991 and throughout the next 12 years, the Vaad
maintained Boys and Girls schools, in St. Petersburg, Kishinev, Baku,
Kuba and Tbilisi. Presently, the Vaad is concentrating its activities
primarily in Baku and Tbilisi, while the St. Petersburg, Kishinev, and
Kuba communities continue to develop under the management of
In 2012 Rav Yisroel Belsky zt”l, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva
Torah Vodaas, led the annual Chizuk Mission. Upon his return from
Baku and Tbilisi Rav Belsky joined Rav Salomon in the nesius of the
The Vaad reopened a new kindergarten in a modern
spacious facility in Tbilisi producing a boom in enrollement.
Currently there are 60 children in Kindergarten and First Grade.
THE VAAD IN AZERBAIJAN
In 1991, The Vaad became involved in Baku through a
great act of Hashgocho Protis. While, Rabbi Mordechai
Neustadt Zt”l and Ariel Levine were passing through
Baku (a large city) in route to Kuba. They were appro-
ached by a few old men who were concerned that after
they die their children wouldn’t know how to say
Kadish for them. Although there were many Jews in
Baku, nobody knew anything about being a Jew. They
wanted the Vaad to send them a teacher to learn with
Today, in unique multicultural Azerbaijan the Vaad
boasts a boys and girl’s full day “day school”, a Bais
Yaakov girl’s program. A mikvah built by the Vaad has
just been rebuilt and refurbished. The community men
and women also participate in learning groups.
Rabbi Zamir Isayev directs the Vaad’s activities in Baku.
Being native of Azerbaijan makes him uniquely qualified
for this position. He is bringing renewed energy and
even higher standards of learning to the Yeshiva.