Letter of the Director of the Ukrainian Center for Jewish Education to EAJC President
To EAJC President
Dear Mikhail Mikhailovich!
We have a very high opinion of your charitable activities and your contribution to the development of Jewish communities of the Diaspora.
The participants of our projects, which have always been supported by the EAJC, are very interested in their continuation and development, as these projects have proved their effectiveness and relevance.
This concerns first and foremost the “Shorashim - Roots and Future of Diaspora Jews” project, which includes the School of Informal Jewish education, children’s Jewish camps in Ukraine and Georgia, and the “Maadon Shorashim” youth and children’s clubs.
This project is aimed at introducing participants to the history, culture, traditions and practices of the Diaspora Jews, to various currents of Judaism, to the history of Zionism, and for teaching children and teenagers Jewish values. It shows them the ancient and modern worlds of the Diaspora and Israel, it strengthens and develops Jewish communities both in the Diaspora and Israel, it fosters Jewish spirituality and national self-identification. The project helps young Jews develop their leadership skills and creative abilities, teaches them to behave in a tolerant matter in a policultural world through the lens of universal Jewish ideas. Finally, it also allows councillors and education professionals in informal Jewish education to cultivate their skills.
This project is both unique and successful, which is attested to by the many years of outside interest and by a constant stream of new participants, the wide geographical area that it has been able to cover, the professionalism of the organizators, and a monitoring of the results of the project.
Project Shorashim has become a brand that is attractive for both children and educators, many of whom strive to participate. The project has been implemented in Ukraine since 1993. At the initiative of the EAJC Kyiv office in 2013, the project began to operate in Georgia. Today, these unique camps have earned an excellent reputation among similar projects. Additionally, the projects has not become dead and formulaic - instead, it lives in constant development. As an example, in 2017 we implemented the School of Informal Jewish Educaiton (NEO) and the Maadon Shorashim clubs. The launch of the NEO schools and clubs in Ukraine and Georgia have pushed Shorashim to a new level, and last year our camps were fully booked.
Our project has been widely spoken about on various websites, inlcuding both applicant parties and projects as well as social networks. For example:
It is important to note that this project does not only implement private goals and aims, but also strengthens the EAJC’s positive reputation both in its own regions and globally.
We have applied to the Program Commission is a timely manner in 2018 and have received positive reviews from them. However, we still do not have a final answer from you on whether we will be financed or not this year, and we have thus been currently forced into a critical situation, which may lead to the disruption of this project, important as it is for the Jewish community, both in 2018 and in later years.
The heart of the problem lies within the fact that it is currently high time to apply for project financing to other organizations and foundations, which need to state whether we have co-financing for a given project, and for which we will later need documental confirmation.
The Shorashim Project, as complex and multilayered as it is, is currently in an active preparatory phase, and we need to provide all necessary documents to our potential sponsors before the end of February. The first stage of the School for Informal Jewish Education will launch already on March 9-11, and preparations for this are currently underway. A second session is planned later, after which our long-awaited Shorasihm camps in Ukraine and Georgia will finally take place in July and August. Moreover, we have already booked facilities for our events, and we are currently forming our teams and have opened applications for camp participants.
This is why it is of utmost importance for us to receive your answer and EAJC financial support as quickly as possible.
We hope that you come to a positive decision and we will be able to continue our cooperation, implementing our joing mission to restore and develop the Jewish spirit in every Jewish community of the Diaspora and Israel!
I would be most grateful for a fast response.
Director of the Ukrainian Center for Jewish Education
Head of the Ukrainian and Georgian branches of the Shorashim Program
Ph.D. in Education