Friday, October 19, 2012

A Tefillin Wrap-Up

Walk into the synagogue in Chernigov, or any place where you may find a Jewish man, and chances are that you will see him clutching his precious pair of tefillin. Within the past two weeks, an additional 7 Jews have joined the Tefillin club, and are now donning tefillin daily. In a beautiful display of brotherly love that reaches across divides of the ocean, culture, and language, Chabad of Long Island City, NY, led by Rabbi Zev Wineberg, generously sponsored tefillin for those who can't afford to buy their own pair. The men were thrilled to receive their tefillin. One man proudly cradled his tefillin as if it were a baby. Another called a friend to convince him to start donning tefillin as well, explaining how many blessings he has seen in his personal life since he committed to this daily mitzvah. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sukkah Party!

 Simchas Bais Hashuava in Chernigov was the place to be, especially if one happened to be under 30. The youth club organized a dynamic program, complete with music, delicious food and interactive games. They competed against other youth groups all over Ukraine for the best event, and the unbiased consensus in this city, judging by the reactions and involvement of the participants, was that Chernigov won. The excitement and joy it generated (see video!) was palpable in the sukkah, as the farbrengen lasted until 2:00 in the morning.