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Hevruta in Moldova – Working Meetings
On February 17, 2008 the first conference on Jewish informal education “Hevruta” took place.
• 225 people registered as participants
• 24 classes made the program of the conference
• 19 presenters conducted classes and 13 volunteers helped in organizing the program.
• $70 were gathered for a needy Jewish family from the conference participants
During December 2007 - January 2008 the Hevruta in Moldova organizational committee gathered several times. The date of the Conference was stated on February 17 in the KJJC. Official logo of the conference was approved.
Over 150 people are expected to take part in the first for the Jewish community of Moldova pilot conference on the Jewish informal education. Lectors from Israel, Russia and Moldova will conduct discussions and lead classes on the Jewish history, culture, dances, cuisine, etc.
In the period from 18th to 21st of October 2007, a significant occurrence in the life of the Jewish community of Russia took place. After over two years of preparation and several organizational workshops, the conference “Limud-2007” opened its doors for the representatives of the Jewish communities of the CIS countries.
“Limud” is an educational conference, which is based on several principles: pluralism, volunteer work and absolute openness. In Hebrew, “Limud” means “learning”. Anyway, the climate of the conference did not bear resemblance to the traditional conception of learning. The boredom and lack of interest – those words are not about “Limud”.
What is the most notable aspect of “Limud” is that participants not just get a lot of new and useful information, but also obtain a possibility to communicate with a majority of interesting people from different countries and of various spheres of activity.
The conference was conducted in Moscow; there participated 700 people. 12 employers and members of the boards of the KJJC visited the conference LIMUD-CIS.
Tentatively in the beginning of February 2008, similar conference will be held in Moldova. The only difference is that it will be called in some other way: “Hevruta”. Preparation to the accomplishment of this unusual educational-cultural-entertaining project has already started.
The originality of “Hevruta” lies in the freedom of choice. Anyone can participate in many ways: to assist in organization or to become a sponsor, or to prepare a lecture or interesting performance.
Michael Finckel, the chairman of the organizational committee of “Hevruta” says about this project: “I observed everything with the investigating look. The logistics of the conference was really complicated, it took over two years to prepare! Simultaneously there were conducted 10-12 lectures in different lecture-halls. There was a necessity to react to any changes in the schedule very quickly, to provide everybody with the necessary materials, to meet, to station and to see-off 700 of people, to feed them in compliance with Cashruth. That would be impossible without an assistance of volunteers. In general, the organizers of “Limud” managed their task.
Of course, our scopes will be considerably modest; the planned quantity of participants is up to 250 people. And our national “Hevruta” has its unique features. The main difficulty is not in organization, but in assortment of the program. We hope to invite several bright lecturers, but we lay special on the local specialists, there a lot of interesting individuals in our scientific, cultural, writers’ and artistic spheres. Everyone can become a participant of “Hevruta” and everyone can conduct lecture or discussion in any topic: from cookery and dances to philosophy and religion”…
Exactly learning determined the spiritual strength of the Jewish people. That is why we continue this nice tradition in our country.
On September 10 2007 the next meeting on Hevruta Conference in Moldova took place at the KJJC. This time leadership of the four sub commissions met to discuss the main organizational issues of the Conference: dates and place of the conference, its format, general program, principles of participation, and budget.
For now the project Hevruta in Moldova is applied for grant to Rothshild Foundation (Great Britain), also assistance from JDC part, local fundraising and fees of participants are expected for successful organization of the Conference.
On May 29 2007, the second meeting of the Hevruta-Moldova Conference Organizational Committee took place in the KJJC.
Over 35 representatives of the Jewish organizations and enthusiasts of the Jewish conference idea in Moldova gathered to discuss in the format of four subcommittees (programmatic, logistics, PR and recruiting) the main issues of the Conference organization.
Every subcommittee chose its head and secretary and determined the main aims and format of its work. Michael Finckel, JCC KEDEM Deputy Director, was approved the Chair of Hevruta-Moldova Organizational Committee.
It was decided that the Conference will take place in the beginning of 2008 in the KJJC premises for up to 300 people.
On April 17 2007 the first meeting dedicated to Hevruta Conference in Moldova took place at the KJJC. Team from JDC-Jerusalem headed by Stuart Saffer, JDC Country Director in Belarus and Moldova, and KJJC staff members told about the idea and experience of Limmud in Great Britain and Lithuania.
Idea of Limmud as a teaching and learning, creation of Jewish atmosphere and spending together leisure time was conceived 27 years ago in Great Britain by four enthusiasts who were looking for a Jewish alternative during the days of Christmas. Since that time hundreds of people gather annually in Nottingham for a 5-days Conference where you can learn anything from anybody and teach by yourself anything you believe you are an expert in.
Such a successful “grassroots” idea was exported to various countries and now it was suggested to the leaders of Moldova Jewish organizations, who listened with great attention and agreed to organize a similar conference in Kishinev with enthusiasm.
“I took part in many purely scientific conferences and meetings all over the world,” said Dr. Rita Kleiman, Head of Judaica Department at The Academy of Sciences of Moldova. “But all this time I missed the feeling of a cozy family Jewish atmosphere. I liked very much what I heard today and I am sure we can organize such a conference in Moldova. It will be a wonderful mixture of the Jewish traditional thirst for knowledge, hospitality and unity.”
The next steps would be establishing an Organizational Committee and subcommittees and general organiztional problems of conducting Hevruta Conference in Moldova.