Celebrating Children's Day Throughout The Former Soviet Union

Celebrated throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union on June 1, the International Day of Children’s Protection is a time-honored tradition.

Initially founded in 1925 by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children and then put into place globally in 1954 to fight against unfair child labor conditions and to protect all children’s access to an education, the day is now a chance to celebrate the vitality and energy of children. Several JDC-supported institutions will hold programs to mark the holiday.

The day is now a chance to celebrate the vitality and energy of children, and several JDC-supported institutions will hold programs to mark the holiday.

In Kherson, a Ukrainian port city on the Black Sea that’s about the size of St. Louis, Hesed Shmuel will commemorate the holiday on June 2. The event’s theme is “Travelling the World of Childhood” and the celebration will feature an art show spotlighting works produced by the facility’s Family Club throughout the year. It will also include a children-led concert, art workshops and a discussion for parents called “The River of Your Childhood.”

About three hours west, in Odessa, the Beit Grand JCC will run a Children’s Day camp from June 3-14 for 50 participants – a threefold increase from last year’s program. The camp, housed in the JDC-supported facility dedicated in 2010, caters to children between the ages of seven and 12, and will include workshops in theater, Judaism, ceramics and dance, as well as some English instruction.

On the Crimean Peninsula, in the city of Feodosia, Hesed Yakhad will run a camp for 75 at-risk children that’s dedicated to the JDC’s upcoming centennial. The program, which runs from June 8-14 and serves not just Feodosia but the neighboring cities of Yevpatoria and Kerch, includes classes and field trips.

In Makhachkala, a Russian city in the Northern Caucasus on the banks of the Caspian Sea, a series of events will be dedicated to Children’s Day, such as field trips to city parks and a sidewalk chalk drawing activity.

In the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, the NES Jewish Family Service program will join forces with JCC KEDEM to mark the day. The event, designed for everyone from infants to teens, will feature dancing, snacks, quizzes and entertainment run by the JCC’s Haverim club, as well as a concert produced by its local music groups.

Check JDC’s Facebook in the next few weeks for photos from some of these events.

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