The Jewish World and Me in Yekaterinburg, Russia
Ages: 17 – 25
Campers came, from far and wide, to participate in this special camp organized for students in the city of Yekaterinburg, which is situated on the Eastern side of the Ural Mountains.
The main themes of the camp revolved around the following questions:
- What do I have to become a part of the Jewish people?
- What are my obligations as part of the Jewish people?
Campers chose one or more projects to focus on during the camp. The projects included Jewish texts, Hebrew, Jewish leadership, Holocaust studies, Israeli cuisine, the Israeli reality and current events.
Hebrew studies at camp.
Brainstorming session on hot topics in the Jewish world.
One of the most interesting programs at camp was the called the Open Space where campers chose various topics for discussion and suggested their own topics in the framework of the general discussion. Jacob Eisenberg, an 18 year old camper from Izhevsk, shared his experiences participating in the Open Space activity.
Jacob Eisenberg, 18 years old from Izhevsk talks about the Open Space activity.
"It was the first Open Space that I had ever participated in even though this is not my first time at camp. I was very impressed with this type of activity. We discussed the problems faced by the Jewish communities in the Ural region and what is needed for future development of the communities in this area. We talked about how to strengthen the connections between our local communities. I came to the conclusion that each of us is responsible for the future of the Jewish communities in this area. I look forward to returning to camp next year and continuing to discuss important issues in the Open Space."
Campers discuss the Jewish future in Yekaterinburg and the surrounding Jewish communities.
The Museum of Israeli Reality was another fascinating example of an activity that counselors helped campers prepare for. In small groups, campers chose an aspect of Israeli life they were interested and presented it in separate halls. One group prepared an "Israeli Diversity Hall" and guided campers through the hall and explained about Israel's different ethnic groups, their culture and way of life. Other groups presented topics such as: Jerusalem, living on a Kibbutz, the relationships between secular and religious Jews, Arab-Israeli Coexistence, and the problems of water supply in Israel. In addition, campers prepared a special radio program on these topics which was broadcast to the whole camp.
Campers prepare tasty dishes that represent Israel's different ethnic groups.
Campers explain about the different ethnic groups in Israel.
Ilya, 21 years old from Yekaterinburg
"Hello, my name is Ilya and I am 21 years old from Yekaterinburg. It's quite hard to describe the excitement I've had in the camp! It gave me so many positive emotions, and I'm sure those emotions will remain for a long time.
Camp - is another world which gives you the feeling of unity, feeling that everyone around you is a friend, and one big family... The camp made me feel more connected to my local community and I would like to learn even more about the Jewish culture."
August 12 – 19, 2009