Region: Khabarovsk and peripheral communities
Brief history of the community: Khabarovsk is located 30 kilometers away from the Chinese border. It is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, after Vladivostok. Rail distance from Moscow is 8,523 kilometers and takes days of travelling.
The first Jews (about 6 families) came to live in Khabarovsk in 1870s. Today the Jewish population is 1% of the city's population (about 5,000 people).
In 2012 over 160 Jewish children and youth participated in the Jewish Agency summer camp program in the region.
Camps 2012: This summer, the site for the camp was chosen at the sea shore which made the trip to the camp even more exciting for kids.
The theme of the summer camp session for participants aged 13-17, was “Jewish holidays”. Every day was devoted to one of the Jewish holidays and during the 10 days of the session campers celebrated all their favorite days in the exciting atmosphere of a Jewish camp.
In their own words:
Nina, 20 years old, counselor: For the first time in many years our camp was conducted at a site near Vladivostok, near the sea, that gave us many options to provide campers with fun and educational activities. We’ve decided to speak in the camp about Jewish calendar. Campers eagerly learnt about Jewish holidays. After the camp many promised to come to holidays’ celebrations in community and follow-up activities. Together we created post cards for holidays, learnt cooking receipts. It was interesting when some kind recalled that their grandmothers are cooking something very Jewish and they never knew. Campers had lots of fun and many parents called saying thank you. Kids from my group are very eager to become counselors themselves. In fall we are going to open an exhibition of pieces created in the camp for the whole community.
Anya: It was my first camp. For those who were in the camp for the first time the theme “Jewish calendar” was the best to get acquainted with Jewish tradition. We are eager to participate in holiday’s celebrations in our communities.
Ksenia: Everything was new this summer though I’ve been coming to this camp for many years. But the new site, new people, new ideas made the different atmosphere. Holidays are something that everyone loves notwithstanding age or place of living. Here in the camp every day was a holiday. Just yesterday we ate apples in honey and were learning about Rosh ha-Shana and today we are building tents for Sukkot. Every day I wake up thinking what a great thing being a Jew!