Following our very week long student seminar, a boy names Roma decided he wanted to have a Brit Milah and to chose a Jewish name. A mohel from Switzerland came to perform the Brit, and Roma chose Shneur Zalman as his new Hebrew name. Mazel Tov!
On Lag B’Omer the Jewish community arranged a family fun cruise on the Don River. Kids of all ages were joined by their parents for this fun outing. On board fun Jewish games were played, and a delicious lunch was served. The trip lasted over two hours and was enjoyed by all.
As nature is blossoming this spring season we are also witnessing the growth and rejuvenation of a community, with a new generation of young people discovering their Jewish heritage through Chabad.
This past weekend 55 students from various cities in Russia gathered in Rostov for a unique Shabbaton featuring inspiring lectures, games and lively discussions. This special gathering ignited an interest in Judaism among many young people who are the future of the community.
The Shabbaton began with an outdoor Kabbalas Shabbos filled with joyous singing and dancing on the street. The Friday night meal turned into a farbrengen which lasted until 3:00 am, listening to Jewish stories and engaging in thought-provoking discussions about the importance of marrying Jewish and establishing a Jewish home.
During the Torah reading on Shabbos 4 girls chose Jewish names and five boys were called up to the Torah for the very first time in their lives. On Shabbos afternoon participants attended a variety of lectures, and during Seuda Shlishis students shared inspiring stories from their personal lives. One girl mentioned that ever since her great-grandparents were killed by the Nazis, her family has hidden their Jewish identity. But around a year ago she decided to visit the shul and realized that being Jewish does not have to be kept secret anymore.
Motzei Shabbos the program continued after havdallah with a BBQ, a question and answer session and discussions lasting until the morning. On Sunday students put on teffilin for first time and attended two more lectures. At the conclusion of the Shabbaton, during a feedback session, one student commented, “it’s amazing to see so many people come so far in their awareness and observance of traditions, it’s really inspiring”. All the students who attended indicated a strong desire to share in more programs and Shabbatons of this nature.
“This Shabbaton opened my eyes to the tremendous potential for growth among the young people in the community,” said Rabbi Chaim Danzinger. “Seeing how much each student gained from this event makes me feel that we have to redouble our efforts to reach out to the youth IY”H, with programs that engage them and raise their awareness.”
This Shabbaton was made possible through a generous grant from the Miralishvili Fund (Keren Miralishvili)
The Jewish community of Rostov held a family fun day on Lag B’omer with attractions and entertainment for kids of all ages. The children learned about the holiday in a fun and interactive way while at the same time their parents were divided into groups for adult study sessions. The children then performed the Jewish songs and recited 12 Pesukim (Torah passages).
Adults and children alike were entertained by a magician who even taught them the secrets behind the tricks. Following relay races everyone sat down for a BBQ lunch including hotdogs in buns, salads, and snacks.
The event took place in a park near the Don River.
On Chol Hamoed children from all around Rostov gathered for a fun sukkot party and fair. The program began in the communities Sukkah with snacks and drinks. The children all shook lulav and etrog and loaded onto busses to go to a nearby park for Sukkot arts and crafts, games and horseriding.
We have just completed our very successful overnight camp which was located an hour and a half away from Rostov, on the banks of the Don River. We had 126 campers in total from as far away as Siberia (50 hours north-east) and as near as Taganrog and of course our very own Rostov. For many of these children, camp is their only Jewish experience of the year, and is therefore of utmost importance.
Our counselors were all local graduates of our Stars program (a study program for Jewish students aged 18-26 with no prior knowledge in Judaism, who attend classes twice a week in Shul).
Tisha B’av in camp was very memorable. A general class was given a few days prior to the fast day describing the history and customs of Tisha B’av. Following the lesson the oldest bunk decided on their own that they would like to fast and keep the customs of the day.