Bar-Mitzvah of Migdal — 13th Anniversary of the JCC.s Activities, February 6 The entire week before such an important event in the life of Migdal and its activists — 13th anniversary of the JCC — was very intensive and hard: rehearsals and preparations, routine activities, not to mention special visitors — UJC Rabbinical Mission that came to see Migdal, Mazel Tov program and community project Beitenu.
Finally, the day of the celebration ? first Sunday in February ? came with its joy and anxiety. On this day, some 700 participants took part in 2 parts of the event: one for little children, and the other one ? for parents and staff.
The event took place in ?Palladium? - one of the concert clubs of Odessa specially rented for the occasion. Special guests among whom there was Alex Rozen, JDC Executive Director for Odessa and Southern Ukraine, Lev Koretz, Director of Israeli Cultural Center, Liat Lembritzki, Educational Emissary of Odessa JAFI office, Rabbi Avroom Wolf, Chief Rabbi of Odessa and South Ukraine, Yana and Boris Yanover, Director of Ukrainian Jewish Educational Center, joined the celebration to share the happiness of the big community family.
All the vocal, dance and drama groups of Migdal and Mazel Tov, Teenagers?, Students and Parents clubs performed on the stage of ?Palladium? demonstrating their achievements and talents. The fact that most of the actors were, on the one hand, participants of the groups and, on the other hand, leaders and art directors of other groups (like students ? members of the Students? Club and leaders of dance groups in Mazel Tov) proved that the JCC offers incredible opportunities for everyone to reveal his/her capabilities and realize inner potential.
The most impressive performances were, without doubt, performances by babies, toddlers and kids up to 4 years old. Whether with or without their parents on the stage, singing, dancing or acting, they won a storm of applause on the part of the audience and pride on the part of their teachers and parents.
Another new, and very important, aspect of the birthday celebration, was performance by the children from Beitenu ? a young community project for children at risk run collaboratively by Gmilus Hesed Jewish Welfare Center and Migdal JCC. For the children it was their premiere, which they passed through with honor and success. They went on to the stage as one team, carrying big posters with congratulations and hand-made puppets (for future show), recited poems and presented a dance they had staged themselves, without teachers? support!
Youth Conference, February 18-20 Fifth Yearly Conference for Youth was held by International JCC Migdal and, as usual every year, it gathered young Jews from South and Central Ukraine: cities of Odessa, Kirovograd, Kerch, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Kiev and Kharkov ? all together 40 participants.
This time the Conference was focused on the theme ?Business: Science, Art or Trade??, which definitely revealed not only general notions and illustrations but also place of Jews in this area, some aspects of Jewish history of Odessa and world.
The three days of the event were spent by the youth in the specially rented facility out of the city, and included a programmatic part (lectures, group discussions, presentations, etc.), as well as Shabbat and Havdallah activities.
In order to get the young people immersed into the Jewish aspect of the theme, such outstanding Odessa historians as Alexander Rozenboim (author of numerous works on the Jewish Odessa) and Anna Misyuk were involved in the Conference. The first professional spoke about advertisement and services in the old Odessa. His lecture was then illustrated by the tour of Jewish sites, during which the participants recognized on the city streets the places they had heard of during the lecture and read about in the books on the Jewish history of Odessa.
Practical assignments included master classes facilitated by the Mazel Tov volunteering psychologist and a socio-psychologist from Israel, reports by the young people and group discussions of these reports. The most interesting part of the Conference was definitely presentation of business projects, when several groups had the task to work out a business plan in the area they had chosen and then ?defend? this business plan before the expert group. This part of the event was recognized by the participants as the most useful one in terms of hands-on knowledge, as the presentations grew into lively discussions and exchange of experience and advice.
One of the main principles of successful business ?you can get a revenue only when you give something? was later proved at the session coordinated by Chief Rabbi of Odessa and South Ukraine Rabbi Avroom Wolf who focused on the theme ?Torah and Business?.
As during the previous conferences, the Fifth Conference was called by its participants the most successful, interesting and dynamic one.