Investigating Our Jewish Identity in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Spirits were soaring as campers teamed up to investigate their Jewish identity during this one week camp session. As one camper tells it, "We divided into six different investigative agencies and explored questions relating to our own Jewish identity, our family histories, and the ways we view our connection to the Jewish people and Israel."
For first time campers, Sarah (14) and Solomon (15) Elnotonov of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, being Jewish means being a good person, being like their mother and father, and observing the Jewish traditions and customs.
Solomon and Sarah Elnotonov
Meet 15 year old Vlad Issacov from Fergana, Uzbekistan. Fergana is approximately 420 kilometers east of Tashkent .Vlad heard about the JAFI summer camps from his friends three years ago and has not missed a summer since then. When asked about what being Jewish means to him, Vlad responded by saying, "I feel that I am part of something bigger than myself, that I am a tiny spark in a huge bonfire" Regarding Israel, Vlad remarked, "Every nation began its existence on a piece of land. Our people have had to rove and wander, to lose their land and then regain it. I am happy that my people now have a home. It is the State of Israel, a land that we need to take care of and be proud of."
At the end of the camp, the campers dramatically presented the findings of their investigative work.
July 6-13 2009