UNESCO, the United Nations agency which has faced accusations of passing anti-Jewish resolutions, awarded Moscow’s main Jewish museum an award for its promotion of tolerance, the Russian Interfax news agency reports.
The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, a $50 million state-of-the-art institution that opened in 2012, received UNESCO’s Madanjeet Singh Prize for the distribution of the ideals of peace and non-violence last week.
Rabbi Alexander Boroda, the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia and the museum’s director general, accepted the prize, which is named after an Indian painter, at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, the report says.
Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, whose top aide Rabbi Boruch Gorin is the museum’s chairman, says in a statement that “spreading tolerance is an absolutely necessary thing for Russia,” whose Jewish community he said “is involved in this as much as they can be, specifically after the opening of the Jewish Museum.”
UNESCO has faced criticism in recent months over the passing of several resolutions that were widely seen as erasing Jewish ties to Jerusalem and other holy sites because they referred to Judaism’s holiest sites only by the Arabic-language names as Muslim places of worship.