Celebrating Jewish Culture in the Streets of Ukraine

It’s not every day you see a sign promoting Jewish activities on a busy street corner in Ukraine.

But this week in Kharkov, an estimated 10,000 people are experiencing the sights and sounds of Judaism in the city’s Days of Jewish Culture celebration—a project run by the local JDC-supported Beith Dan Jewish Community Center. The festival, running October 3-10, highlights the richness and variety of Jewish culture through music and dance performances, workshops, concerts, art exhibitions, and other engaging activities for all ages.

Like many JDC-supported Jewish activities that bring Judaism “to the streets” of the former Soviet Union (FSU), Europe, and Latin America, Kharkov’s festival is reaching Jews who may not otherwise have exposure to Jewish traditions or their community. At the same time, bringing Jewish dance troupes, photo exhibits, and the klezmer groups to local shopping malls and public squares raises the profile of the Jewish community—and its contribution—to the city at large.

The 2010 Days of Jewish Culture builds on last year’s successful event and fruitful collaboration with the Kharkov municipality, which is lending financial and logistical support, as well as the partnership of more than a dozen organizations, foundations, and companies. We’re grateful to all those whose efforts are promoting Jewish renewal across the FSU!

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