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Rosh Hashanah in Ukraine: A Personal Reflection

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Zhanna Veyts

Returning to Ukraine 24 years after immigrating to the United States, JDC staff member Zhanna Veyts saw this year’s Rosh Hashanah celebration in Kiev through her father’s eyes—and her own.

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An Inspirational Tale for the New Year

photo: Sarah Levin Click to enlarge.
Tags: Elderly

In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, see how I. L. Peretz’ classic tale of the rabbi of Nemirov’s charitable deeds in 19th century Ukraine inspires JDC’s efforts to bring help and hope today to some of the world’s poorest Jews. And please accept our best wishes for a sweet, meaningful, and productive 5773. Shanah tova u’metuka!

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Bringing a Sweeter New Year to Needy Jewish Children in Belarus

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To combat ongoing economic hardship in Belarus, over 4,200 at-risk Jewish children and their families received essential support from us last year. See how Rosh Hashanah activities, portrayed in this slideshow, helped strengthen these children’s ties to the Jewish community—and let their families enjoy a sweeter New Year.

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Bringing a Sweet New Year to Families in the Crimea

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The crucial IFCJ-JDC Partnership for Children in the FSU seeks to meet the material, health, social, and spiritual needs of the region’s at-risk Jewish children.

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Helping Jews in Ukraine Find their Economic Footing

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With labor statistics dominating the U.S. headlines at the close of every month, and unemployment a critical issue for many overseas Jewish communities, see what JDC and its partners are doing to help Jews in Ukraine overcome the dearth of local employment opportunities, especially in smaller, peripheral areas.

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Hip Hop in Moldova as Next Gen’rs Create their Own Jewish Space

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Flo Low

Even as half of Moldova’s Jews are suffering significant economic hardship, JDC staffer Flo Low’s three-part field account shows how JDC and its partners are aiding the community, and ensuring Jewish life can thrive in Kishinev and beyond.

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Building a Jewish Home in Moldova

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Flo Low

Even as half of Moldova’s Jews are suffering significant economic hardship, JDC staffer Flo Low’s three-part field account shows how JDC and its partners are aiding the community, and ensuring Jewish life can thrive in Kishinev and beyond.

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A Home Visit in Kishinev, Moldova

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Flo Low

Even as half of Moldova’s Jews are suffering significant economic hardship, JDC staffer Flo Low’s three-part field account shows how JDC and its partners are aiding the community, and ensuring Jewish life can thrive in Kishinev and beyond.

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Camping in Belarus Brings Families to Jewish Community

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Mirroring a common reaction among fellow Jewish 10-year-olds in Minsk, Belarus, Pavel’s eyes light up with excitement at the mere mention of “Shemesh” Camp at his local Jewish Community Center (JCC).

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New JCC in Kharkov Shines Light on Growing Community

When communism fell and the Soviet Union broke apart, Kharkov’s Jewish community was faced with the huge challenge of finding all of its members scattered and hidden by decades of anti-semitism. No one could have imagined 20 years later there would be a community 40,000-strong and in need of a new JCC to serve its thriving membership.

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Hasidim Make Rosh Hashanah Pilgrimage to Ukraine

We at JDC know well that Rosh Hashanah traditions can take on their own unique flair from one country to another. A recent article in Slate shares that for the 35,000 Hasidim (ultra Orthodox Jews) that embarked on the annual pilgrimage to Uman, Ukraine (125 miles south of Kiev where the Breslov Hasidic sect’s founder, Rabbi Nachman, is buried), it was an inclusive and nearly 200-year-old “pray, eat, love” fest.

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JDC Next Gen Event Bridges Past and Present

Last week, JDC’s Next Gen group held an event: Inside Jewish Ukraine, in partnership with Combined Jewish Philanthropies (Boston’s Jewish Federation). JDC, through the experiences of two speakers—one JSC fellow and one RIG fellow—who recently lived and worked in Ukraine, shared the realities of modern-day Jewish life in the former Soviet Union. While the purpose of the evening was to discuss JDC’s current efforts to bolster Jewish cultural life in the region, our history working in the FSU through both World Wars and then post-communism seemed to resonate with attendees as well.

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Limmud FSU in the Hamptons

The Hamptons—New York’s most desirable beach destination—is playing host to an exciting summer event: the JDC-supported Limmud FSU, an educational experience designed to grow cultural identity among Russian Jews. On August 15, The Hampton Synagogue will welcome numerous speakers from around the Jewish world including Matthew Bronfman, Dr. John Ruskay, and guest presenter, Jewish NASA astronaut, Dr.Garrett Reisman.

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Community Building in Russia Takes Off with Knafaim Program

“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to…the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility…and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.” This quote, from Robert F. Kennedy, speaks to a new JDC-funded program for Russian Jews, Knafaim (wings), which seeks to build Jewish communal life by engaging young professionals with educational opportunities to learn about Jewish culture in addition to offering seminars on general management and leadership-skills building.

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Passover Prep in Motion Across the FSU

In Ukraine and Siberia … in Moldova and Kyrgyzstan … across the former Soviet Union (FSU) many of the poorest Jewish children and their families are set to take part in Passover seders this year, supported by the IFCJ-JDC Partnership for Children in the Former Soviet Union.

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Jewish Life in Ukraine – A Video by Graham Cannon

Wedding anniversary celebrations, children’s recitals, Bubbe going grocery shopping…sound like a typical day in your local Jewish community? Actually, because of the work of JDC it’s a typical day in reemerging Jewish life in Ukraine. Watch this video by Graham Cannon (JDC’s new AEVP, Global Marketing and Communications) that captures his experience visiting our extensive programs in Dnepropetrovsk and Krivoy Rog, Ukraine–a trip that proved both eye-opening and heartwarming.

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Helping FSU Children Brave the Cold

For many, this winter delighted with beautiful snow showers, bonus days-off for sledding, and glimpses of stellar athletes giving their all at the 2010 Winter Olympics. But in the former Soviet Union, there are many Jewish children who must go without, whose lives are deeply impacted in a different way by the cold, harsh winter and a frozen economy.

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Family Ties … from New York to Odessa

Violetta, a New Yorker who is JDC’s Ralph I. Goldman Fellow working with the Jewish community in Odessa, recently had the opportunity to blog about her heartening reunion with her great-aunt, an Odessa resident. This family visit presents another reminder about the importance of JDC’s Jewish renewal work in the former Soviet Union and how one Jewish family, oceans apart, view their identity and traditions. Young Jews are increasingly interested in global service and Violetta, through JDC’s prestigious Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship, has become one of many who are heeding the call to serve those in need through JDC programs.

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On the road with the JDC

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Lee Livingston, President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County in New Jersey recently wrote an article about his experience on the JDC Ambassadors Circle Mission to Turkey and Uzbekistan on the Jewish Federation's blog.

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