Moscow Jews Get Emails, Free Matzo for Passover

2 Million Messages Will Trumpet Unleavened Bread Giveaway

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By JTA

Published March 13, 2013.
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The Russian Jewish Congress has partnered with one of the country’s leading Internet companies to deliver free matzah to Muscovite Jews.

The collaboration with the online marketing giant Vigoda.ru will allow the Jewish organization to send two million emails on Thursday offering the unleavened crackers used on Passover for the cost of delivery – an offer RJC hopes will help introduce matzah to the homes of young professionals who would otherwise not get them.

“The idea is to reach out to young and secular Jews and to reintroduce or sometimes introduce this basic custom of Judaism,” Matvey Chlenov, the RJC’s deputy executive director, told JTA. “Like most Muscovites, they are busy with careers and raising children and will often not take the effort to spend two-three hours in Moscow’s notorious traffic jams to get to a handful of places where matzot are on sale.”

The emails that are meant to place matzah on the menu this Passover were sent through Vigoda.ru, a Russian website and company that, similar to the American website Groupon, offers various deals for reduced prices in a daily email that it sends to a large number of people.

The Russian Jewish Congress has stocked up on a ton of matzah it hopes to give out with help from Vigoda and through the organization’s own campaign on social media.

David Shostak, co-owner and CEO of Vigoda, said his firm decided to include the Russian Jewish Congress’ offer in an email to two million recipients in Moscow as “a service to the community.” Shostak, who speaks Hebrew, said he runs the company from Moscow but travels often to Israel.

Last year, the Russian-language edition of Forbes magazine ranked Vigoda, which the magazine said had an annual turnover of $54 million, among Russia’s 30 leading online businesses.


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