Tuesday, May 31, 2011

STARS TV - Live!

A new program has begun in Chernigov, changing the face of Torah learning here.

This past Sunday, the Jewish Community of Chernigov premiered a showing of "STARS TV", a multimedia learning presentation. 

 The event was well attended, by youth and older community members alike, and the audience was absolutely fascinated.

The show opened with a clip of popular Chassidic reggae star Matisyahu singing his hit song "Jerusalem". The rest of the class, moving at a fast pace, focused on Jerusalem, Israel, Abraham, and Hebrew language.

At the request of the viewers, the video was paused every few minutes for a fascinating discussion analyzing the historical and practical applications of the lesson.

The reactions of the crowd were perhaps summed up best by participant Vladimir S.* "Can we expect to watch a class like this each week?" He asked incredulously.
"No", he was answered with smile. "Next week it will be even better."
The smiles that broke out on the faces around the room proved the success of the class. 

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bright smiles under the blue Ukrainian sky

Sounds of music, combined with laughter, giggles, and excited shouts, were heard from Krupskoy 48, a scenic wooded area and second home to the Jewish children in Chernigov, the Or Avner Educational Complex.

This past Sunday, Jewish children and families gathered for a rally of Jewish unity and Torah.

Then, with palpable pride, they paraded through the streets of Chernigov.  

  The children and the parents were then treated to an afternoon of unbelievable activities, carnival, limousine rides and a moon bounce. 

  The delicious barbecue and picnic was polished off.

Every person present received an amazing door prize - a day pass at the Gor Sad amusement park, and beautiful new book teaching Hebrew through Tehillim.

The smiles on the faces of the Jews of Chernigov looked like were permanently glued on. Everyone went home with memories, and a sense of Jewish pride that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Lag B'omer Celebration Invitation

Lag B'omer in Chernigov!


a Barbecue Picnic

This Sunday at 11 AM

At the grounds of the Jewish school, 48 Krupskoy St.

See you there!

Or, if you unfortunately don't live in the vicinity, stay tuned for pictures.

Thank you to Avner for the beautiful flyer

Saturday, May 14, 2011

All Because of a Bag: A Story

It was a frosty Tuesday morning, and I was on my way to the synagogue. Things had held me up at home, and I left the house some time later than usual.

Out of the corner of my eye, a noticed a couple walking. The bag they were holding got my attention: It was covered in Hebrew writing.

I introduced myself, and, it transpired, that this couple had lived in Israel for a long time. They returned to Chernigov when the husband's father became ill. He passed away after some time, but their son was comfortable in Chernigov and did not want to return to Israel. They remained in Chernigov, visiting Israel from time to time.

They were thrilled to meet, and we talked about the Jewish opportunities here: children's programing, synagogue, classes.

I told them that this meeting really was divinely inspired, as I usually am out walking much earlier. It was only because I noticed the bag, I told them, that I approached them.

"I was not planning on taking the bag today", replied Michael, the husband. "In fact, I had already left the house without it. On second thought, though, on my wife's urging, I went back in to get it."

Sometimes even a plastic bag can be G-d's messenger.