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Visitors and missions play a significant role in providing the Jewish community of Moldova with the tools they need to rebuild the Jewish life, ensure the physical and spiritual welfare of community members, support Jewish education and religious activities, and - the most important - teach the community how to become self-sufficient. They have a great and direct impact on its development, because, together with their goodwill, the missions’ representatives bring knowledge and successful experience that help people overcome hardships.

 


 

23.02.2009 JDC mission from MARCOMM Department of New York office and members of JDC-Jerusalem staff visited KJJC. The mission list included Claire Ellen Schultz, Beth Deborah Weinstein, Rina Edelstein, and Orly Doron. Visit to the KJJC was only one of the points of the program after visits to Heseds of Rybnitsa and Beltsy where guests could see the work of the programs sponsored by JDC in peripheral towns of the country.

Power Point Presentation of the KJJC organizations, meeting with directors and tour of the Campus gave the opportunity to listen, see and better understand the role and place of the KJJC in the Jewish community as a whole. Visit was very intensive and impressive. Jewish Family Service Day Center for children with special needs, the analogue Hesed program for elderly from 75 to 96 years old, JCC Museum and other programs showed the step by step growth of KJJC activities diversification and its importance for community members.

On the next day after JDC mission, Mr. Avraham Sharon, Israeli Ambassador in Republic of Moldova, made a visit to our Campus. Mr. Ambassador got acquainted with the programs work and directors of the KJJC Organizations. It was his first visit to the Campus, however he promised to come back again in a few months.

“It was a really impressive visit. I learned a lot about the Jewish life in Kishinev and I am very much pleased and I appreciate the Joint activities and projects for the wellbeing of the Jews of Moldova”, wrote Mr. Sharon in the KJJC Guest Book.

 


 

During 2008 a lot of bright events took place in the KJJC, and many important guests visited our Campus.

Refael Ronen, Deputy Head of NATIV, and Felix Mindel, the 1st secretary of Israeli Embassy in Ukraine and Moldova, came to the KJJC to see and hear about the structure and programs working here and discuss perspectives of cooperation and coordination of activities. “We were pleasantly surprised with what we have seen in the Campus. We wish you prosper for the benefit of the Jewish community”, wrote Refael Ronen in the KJJC Guest book.




Our former compatriot Efrem Bauch, writer, interpreter, Head of Israeli Russian speaking Writers Union, came this time together with Israeli writer Meir Uziel. They visited Israeli Cultural Center and the KJJC where had a series of meetiongs. Also Efrem Bauch visited his former school and showed Kishinev to his Moldova first-comer colleague.

 

 

 

 








Delegation from the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto visited Kishinev. Our guests acquainted with the activities of the Kishinev Jacobs Jewish Campus, met with the leaders of organizations as well as with young generation from Hillel and Madrichim School.
Members of the delegation - Barbara Bank and Warren Kimel, Israel and Overseas Committee co-Chairs, gave an interview to representatives of the Jewish mass-media of Moldova.
“We hope that thanks to development of the qualities of leaders in the young generation we’ll be able to guarantee the generations continuity and the Jewish community of Moldova will be strong and financially independent”, said Barbara Bank


July 1-13, 2008 Greensboro Jewish Federation mission headed by Deborah Kintzing spent in Moldova. It was the 8th consecutive visit in the frame of the partnership Greensboro-Beltsy that is the most lasting and friendly for the local community.
Our guests visited KJJC, got acquainted with the programs and projects supported by the Joint in Kishinev and Beltsy, made home visits to Hesed and NES clients.
Delegation members were impressed by the work done by the Jewish Family Service as by Hesed programs and JCC Museum of Bessarabian Jewry.
“We know that our partnership has a wonderful history and we believe it has a long and fruitful future”, told Deborah Kintzing. “See you next year in Delet -2009!”

During the year the next Jewish Healthcare International project missions visited Moldova. Doctors from Israel and USA conducted seminars in Kishinev and periphery, made home visits to Hesed clients, met with doctors and Hesed Day Centers participants, visited psychiatric clinics and geriatrics centers in Beltsy and Kishinev.
“It is rather difficult for us to invite foreign colleagues and this opportunity presented by JHI project is very helpful”, said Anatoly Negara, Republican Geriatrics Center Director.

 

 





The World Jewish Relief is already constant and reliable partner of the Jewish community of Moldova. Recently the next mission from WJR visited Moldova. Only during the last period of time WJR sent to Moldova nine tones of humanitarian aid in almost 1,000 of boxes with clothes, hygienic supplies, and shoes, and 40-tone container with beans that was distributed to members of the Jewish community as well as to the non-Jewish welfare partner organizations. “Thank you for the wonderful reception we have been given in Moldova”, wrote Richard Katz and Andrea Williams, WJR mission members, in the KJJC Guest Book. “We hope that when we go home we can work even harder to help you more.”

 



 

The next Jewish Healthcare International project mission came to Moldova in March 2008. Every time the audience of the project became wider. This time the main topic was geriatrics.
With the organizational help from the Center of Training and Professional Development series of seminars for Hesed volunteers as well as for physicians and nurses were organized in Kishinev and Tiraspol.
Thanks to high qualification, devotedness and committed work of the mission participants in many cases it becomes possible to raise the level of medical services for the elderly.
“Soon the first geriatric center will be opened in Moldova,” tells Natalia Alhazova, JHI coordinator in Moldova. “And of course our Heseds and specialists of the center are interested in a close cooperation”.


Last week, for the first time in our country here was conducted the seminar of young leaders of “Maccabi World Union”. It gathered about 30 people from 7 countries, including 3 representatives of Joint from JCC branches in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The “European Maccabi” central emissary Stella Syrkin came to Moldova for the first time, but for the Deputy director-general Rabbi Carlos A. Tapiero that was a second visit.
In spite of the quite busy schedule, leaders of the “World Maccabi” spent several hours in the KJJC. They were warm welcomed by the director of JCC Stella Harmelina and the director of JDC branch in Moldova Mickey Katsif. Especially they were impressed by the museum of Moldova Jewish history. After the excursion over the Campus, Mr. Tapiero wrote a very cordial entry in the guest-book: “Today I see it again – growing and developing new projects. I hope we – JDC Moldova and Maccabi World Union – will be able to develop joint projects for the strengthening of the Moldova Jews.”
“For many years we’ve been working on development of “Maccabi” movement in Eastern European countries”,
he added. “That is why this seminar in Moldova Republic became an important event for Maccabi World Union. We chose your country for conducting the seminar not by pure accident. Leaders of “Maccabi-Moldova” are very active in development of our movement not just in your country but also in the region”.
The 4-days seminar was conducted in the recreation center. It was organized by the president of “Maccabi-Moldova” Yakov Akerman with the assistance of “Dor-le-Dor” foundation, JAFI, and Israeli cultural center. Madrichim of “Hillel” organized an interesting lecture about the JDC’ work with the Jewish youth.
“This meeting was organized with the purpose to become acquainted and to explore the possibilities of the countries which were represented by the participants of the seminar”, said Stella Syrkin.
All of this had an influence upon the decision of Carlos Tapiero to conduct a football tournament and a dancing contest in Moldova this summer. This will give an opportunity for the Jewish youth from different countries to meet and to join to the “Maccabi” movement.

 




www.jewish.md site works since 2005. The number of visits during this period grew from 1,198 in 2005 to 20,500 in 2008 from over 50 countries of the world.

Regularly we receive comments from the KJJC and www.jewish.md site visitors.

 

"With my deep respect to the KJJC activities that sacrifices time and energy for really worthy aims, I would like to wish you, dear friends, health and joy, realized dreams and achievements. To keep in your souls love to people and will to contribute by all means to the prosperity of our joint country – Republic of Moldova and to do everything to strengthen relations with the State of Israel.
Let me congratulate you from all my heart with the holiday of Chanukah that is celebrated by the Jewish people allover the world that is fairly known as the Holiday of Light "
Marian Lupu, Republic of Moldova Parliament Chairperson

“KJJC is one of the best facilities in the country, but also gives a look at the Jewish history and culture in Moldova.
I have enjoyed seeing this building go through reconstruction, be dedicated, and now being a working center where the community meets for various events.
It is truly a lasting cultural resource and monument.”
Jeff Kelly-Clark, Country Director U.S. Peace Corps

Great to see your website updated with our Mission so fast.
It was wonderful to see you all, and thank you again for your hospitality, and for helping us make it happen!!
Rosalind Bluestone, UK

"Thank you - wonderful events are happening at the Centre(KJJC)! You should all be so proud." Sherry Kulman, Canada

“Dear Colleagues!
We observe your site development for a long time. We wish successes and prosperity to your project.”
Vladimir Paley and Paley Info team, Russia

Thanks for your very interesting and very friendly newsletter. I would be very glad to receive it on a regular basis.”
Kareen Benvenisty, Israel

“I want to congratulate you on your first edition of Jewish Life in Moldova.
As a Jewish historian, I feel that documenting a community's life is absolutely vital and enables that group to develop and grow as it is able to look back at its past activities and appreciate how it is constantly moving forward.
Your web is professionally presented.”
Paul Liptz, Israel


“Thank you for the wonderful photos and story!”
Marilyn Chandler, USA

 


On September 17-18 Dr. Michael Beizer (Israel) visited KJJC. Dr. M. Beizer collaborates with the Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and JDC Russian Department in Israel. He is author of several books on the history of the Soviet Jewry and JDC’s activities.

Dr. Michael Beizer gave lectures to the KJJC staff and Boards members, JDC Branch in Moldova on the history of the Jewish philanthropy and assistance from the Western countries’ Jews to their brothers and sisters living behind the “iron curtain”. He was also interviewed by the most popular local Jewish newspaper – “The Jewish Shtettle”.
Former refuznik, Dr. Beizer is by himself a part of the tragic history of the Soviet Jewry. For eight years he was deprived of possibility to see his son.

“Dissident movement was a deliberate choice”, told Michael. “But refuzniks were not psychologically prepared for struggle. The only thing they fought for was to learn their own language, history of their people. But suddenly they faced with refusal by the system of the Soviet power, isolation, and defiance”.

“We need to learn and to teach people,” continue Dr. Beizer.Because even now many including some Jews are still under the press of anti-Semitic and anti Israeli propaganda. And very often vivid examples from our lives are more efficient than dozens of manuals and books”.

 




On June 5 delegation of 25 Jews from Great Britain – The Jewish Identity Group – visited KJJC. The group came to Moldova through Romania as they were looking for the roots and history of the local Jewish communities.
The group joined other 200 people in the KJJC Theater hall for a wonderful klezmer music concert prepared by the Jewish library and JCC KEDEM. Brilliant and masterly violin of Vladimir Goihman, leader of “Freigish” klezmer band, songs in Yiddish and Ladino performed by Alla Derezko, soloist of the band, really touched the souls of people.

 

The second part of the concert became a kind of benefit of one of the most famous and talented local klezmer singers – Yefim Chiorny and his Theater of the Jewish Song. The audience was fascinated by Yefim’s moving and expressive manner of performance, strong voice and personal charm and charisma.
After the concert the group met directors and boards’ chairs of the KJJC organizations, and Stuart Saffer, JDC Country Director for Belarus and Moldova, made an informative presentation on the Campus activities, challenges and plans. He answered questions about demographic and economic situation in Moldova and the local Jewish community. In the end of the meeting guests got presents – bookmarks and magnets with KJJC organizations contact data.

“It was great to learn about JDC work and the community needs”, said Yudit Weil. “The kleizmer concert was fabulous. I personally was raised on yiddish so it meant a lot to me. Watching the audience was moving too. The whole trip was amazing and we have had a great experience. The group was moved by the great needs of the Jewish communities we have come across.”
“We all enjoyed our visit here”, wrote Suzanne in the KJJC Guest Book. “The work that is done is very impressive. We hope to come back in the future. We wish all of you, your helpers and future helpers luck and success.”




A current JHI mission worked in Moldova on March 11-19, 2007 pursuing 3 tracks: palliative care, using rehabilitation equipment, and nursing. The team included seven persons: Dr. Michaela Bercovici, Oncologist and Palliativist (Israel), Mrs. Shani Rosenfeld, Occupational Therapist (Israel), Mrs. Roxane Fulop, Rehab Equipment Trainer (Israel), Ms. Ella Koren, PhD, Nurse (Israel), Ms. Ann Shinder, Nurse (Israel), Ms. Ptlene Minick, Ph.D, Nurse (Atlanta, Georgia), Ms. Honey Bernstein, Photographer (Atlanta, Georgia).


The program of the mission was intensive as usually. It included seminars, a 40-hour training course for the physicians and nurses both from the organizations collaborating with the Hesed and from Hesed homecare service in Kishinev, Beltsy and Tiraspol, meetings with the heads of the two National Palliative Associations, meetings with the heads of the Jewish organizations and agencies, home visits to Hesed clients and cultural program - an evening with Hesed volunteers in their Warm Home and Kabbalat Shabbat with Hillel.
Natalia Alkhazova, JHI coordinator in Moldova said: “Both the guests and the local medical professionals - found the seminars extremely productive. In the end, everybody stated that the week in Moldova was exceedingly rewarding. All the mission members expressed their readiness to continue the collaboration. The following working mission in Kishinev is scheduled for May 6-13, 2007.”




 


 

During February 26-March 1, 2007 Mr. Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief (WJR, Great Britain) CEO, visited the Jewish community of Moldova. WJR is one of the main supporters of Moldova Jewry having sent a lot of shipments with clothes, shoes, food, glasses, toys for over $1,000,000 since 2004.

Mr. Anticoni visited two biggest communities - in Kishinev and Beltsy. He got acquainted with the leaders and programs of JCC KEDEM, Hillel Students’ Organization, Jewish Library, Jewish Family Service, welfare center “Hesed Yehuda”, as well as with local Jewish businessmen and non-Jewish NGOs that cooperate with their Jewish homologues.

Official part of the visit included meeting with the Ambassador of Her Majesty in Moldova Mr. John Beyer, who was present at the ceremony of WJR humanitarian aid distribution in 2006 at the KJJC.

“I worked for 12 years in the British Red Cross and participated in programs throughout Africa, Kosovo, South East Asia, and led the response to the Tsunami. Concerning FSU countries, I was in Ulan-Ude, Russian Siberian city. – told Paul. – I spent only 3 days in Moldova. It is difficult to understand everything in the frames of so short visit, but I am impressed of what I have seen.”

Mr. Anticoni confessed that the Jewish Campus in Kishinev created the biggest impression upon him.
“Why is Kishinev Campus different from all others?

 A great combination of services
 A professional and passionate team of staff and volunteers
 A participative and grateful clientele
 A healthy future!



 



During January 7-10, 2007, Mr. Doron Krakow, United Jewish Communities Senior Vice-President, stood in Moldova with a visit. The official part included acquaintance with the programs supported by JDC and JAFI in Kishinev and Beltsy, home visits to Jewish Family Service and Hesed clients, tour of the Jewish Kishinev. The last day of the visit was dedicated to Kishinev Jacobs Jewish Campus programs. But this was not all.
“I came to Kishinev to search for the birthplace of my grandfather. – told Doron. – Sadly, all that there was of my family history is likely gone – the house, the street, the graves. But I will not leave Kishinev in sadness... What I have seen is an inspiration. A Campus that is a second home to Kishinev Jews. Though only one year old it has the warmth and the humanity that sometimes takes many years to develop. You can see it on the faces of the children, you can feel it in the spirit of the staff and you can hear it in the voices of the Hesed clients.”

Mr. Doron came with his niece Hagit who recently finished her military service in Israeli army and lives in Jerusalem. She was deeply impressed of what she saw in the Campus. “I learned from my uncle that my grandfather is from Kishinev, and I am so proud today to say that my roots belong here. It’s so good to see how many people are able to open their hearts and give to others and devote themselves to the community. You are a trigger to the Jewish community in the world and I hope to be more like you”, - confessed Hagit.
“I came to Kishinev believing that I already understand the work of the Joint and the state of Jewish life in the FSU. I came here certain that my heart was already full of pride and appreciation for what we do. – continued Mr. Krakow. – But I return home knowing that I was wrong. Because my heart is fuller than I could have hoped. And my pride is overflowing. Thank you for all you do – and for all that is yet to be done.”

 



On November 24 Mr. Avigdor Liberman, vice-prime minister of the State of Israel, conducted a meeting with the leadership of the Jewish community of Moldova at the KJJC. The meeting took place in the frames of Mr. Liberman’s unofficial visit. It was organized by “Evreiskoe Mestechko” (‘The Jewish Shtettle’) newspaper and Welfare Foundation ‘Dor le Dor”.
Mr. Liberman informed about the situation in Israel, his views on the main questions of Israeli politics and future development, possible ways of solving economic and political problems on the Middle East. Then he answered questions asked by journalists, scientists and representatives of various local Jewish organizations.
“I was in the Campus a year ago, the main thing is that solemn moments passed, and today there is a feeling of a real life, a real fullness. Only the fact that on Friday in the afternoon we gathered and talk here, everything I hear and see confirms that the life and activities in the KJJC develop. And this is the most important. – said Avigdor Liberman. – I express my gratitude to “Evreiskoe Mestechko” newspaper and KJJC administration for the possibility to hold this meeting.”

 

 

 


In July, 2006 Moldova was visited by members of the Greensboro Jewish Federation. Participants from North Carolina, USA, came in the framework of the Greensboro-Beltsy partnership.

On July 6 they visited the KJJC. After Kishinev, Greensboro members went to Beltsy and visited welfare center “Hesed Yakov”, the synagogue, and made home visits. They took part in a large community Shabbat and started preparation for the summer retreat which took place in Zatoka (Ukraine) on the Black sea from July 9 through July 16.

The friendship between the Greensboro and Beltsy communities began six years ago and since then they have worked together as one united family.
Over time Greensboro has helped the Beltsy community to write a book, “One People One Heart”, in English and Russian versions. This book includes the life stories of people from Beltsy and Greensboro, photos, and children’s art. Proceeds from the book will go to the Beltsy library as well as the proceeds from the annual concert in Greensboro go to the Beltsy cemetery.
However, the main annual project is hosting the family summer retreat which successfully goes off every year.

 


 

 

The visit of the JDC Board Mission to Moldova in the period 12-15 of September, headed by Ellen Heller, the president of JDC marked the importance of the turning point in the life of the Moldova Jewish Community. The mission’s program included visits to the Kishinev and periphery Jewish Organizations, tour of the Jewish Kishinev, home visits to Hesed and JFS clients, visit to the world known Cricova winery, etc. But the most special event was their participation in the Kishinev Jewish Campus Opening Ceremony on September,13. The guests shared with the Moldovan Jews the joy and happiness of having a Jewish Home.

 







In the period September 11-15, 2005 UJA Federation of Greater Toronto mission visited Moldova. In the framework of the visit the mission members had the opportunity to acknowledge with the activity of the major Jewish organizations, to make home visits to Hesed and JFS clients, Vocational and Retraining Program, visit Jewish memorials and historical places. Being one of the sponsors of the Kishinev Jewish Campus, they participated in the Opening Ceremony on September 13.

"It is with great pride that the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s mission to Kishinev is inaugurating this computer center in our twin Jewish community of Kishinev." Adam Minsky on behalf of the delegation

 


 

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During 2005 11 doctors from Israel and USA visited Moldova within the framework of 3 Jewish Healthcare International (JHI) working missions. Missions included oncologists, rheumatologists, nurses, geriatricians, psychologists and pharmacists.
In 2005, JHI missions in Moldova made a major focus on training for the local Jewish and non-Jewish doctors and homecare workers, second opinion consultations and home visits. Medical professionals from the US and Israel visited Kishinev, Beltsy and Tiraspol communities, made presentations and conducted seminars. As a result of the seminars, 9 doctors addressed to become volunteer doctors at the Heseds.
A new direction of the JHI work in Moldova is a bigger involvement in the "Let My Children Grow" project and Jewish Family Service. Visiting Jewish places, cemeteries and synagogues added emotional side to the visits programs especially for those who had routes in this part of the Eastern Europe.

During February 6-13, 2006 a JHI cardiologic mission visited Moldova. Mr. and Mrs. Lipsitt (USA), Nathan Roguin and Mark Gellerman (Israel) gave lectures at the Kishinev Cardiology Center, the Mother and Child Center and at Kishinev and Tiraspol Heseds. The group also visited the Kishinev Jacobs Jewish Campus, met with the heads of JDC and JAFI in Moldova.
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The first visit of World JDC Executive Vice-President on Special projects to Moldova.

Michael Schneider, JDC Executive Vice-President on Special projects vivited Moldova Jewish Community in the end of May, 2004. During the visit he saw Jewish Campus site and visited the Occupational center "School of Professions" where participants of the Children initiative program receive the second profession together with hope for a new job and new life.

 


Greensboro leadership mission" />

 


In August, 2005 Moldova was visited by members of the Greensboro Jewish Federation, North Carolina, USA, in the framework of Greensboro-Beltsy partnership.
Besides participating in the “DELET 5” family Retreat the guests had the opportunity to visit Jewish Organizations in Kishinev and Beltsy, do home visits to the clients, visit Jewish historical places and monuments. The VIP mission included Deborah Kintzing, Director of Campaign and Community Relations; Natalie Ross, Chairman of the 2006 Greensboro Jewish Federation; Doug Dodd, Member Board of Trustees Greensboro Federation; Robin Lecin, Member of Beth David Synagogue. On August,14 they all participated in the Beltsy Campus opening ceremony.


JDC - Israel mission" />

 


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In August 2004 Moldova was visited by JDC Israel senior staff mission.

During the past 50 years - through conflict and quiet, in good times and in hard times – the JDC helped Israel build social services for the elderly, children and families at risk as well as for vulnerable immigrant population and the disabled, i.e. for all Israelis in need. Thus, the visit of JDC Israel senior staff was of special importance for the local Jewish community. The program included visits to Kishinev and regional Jewish organizations that follow one major goal: help and support to the Jewish Community of Moldova. Within the framework of their visit the guests had an opportunity to observe and point out the differences in organizations' structure and programs. Headed by Arnon Mantver, mission participants highly evaluated the level of the community services and organization development.

 




In the period June 27-30 Moldova was visited by Henry Posner III and his wife Anne Molloy, known philanthropists from Pittsburg (USA). During the last several years they opened 4 Day Centers in Moldova and the goal of their last visit was the opening of the Day center in the Kishinev Jewish Campus that took place on the 29th of June 2005.
In the framework of their visit they also traveled to Beltsy and met with the leaders of the Jewish community and Day Center clients. The visits gave them the opportunity to reveal many other problems that the Jewish people are facing nowadays. Henry Posner was very sorry to acknowledge that the situation in the Republic is very flimsy. “There is no more important gift for us than a “thanks” that is coming from the bottom of the heart and the acknowledgement that we made the lives of this people easier.” said Anne Molloy