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3.04.2006 18:01

February 2006

Fourteenth Anniversary of Migdal Jewish Community Center

Migdal International Jewish Community Center of Odessa celebrated the 14th anniversary of its work on February 5, 2006. The entire week before such an important event in the life of Migdal and its activists, as well as staff and participants of Mazel Tov and Beitenu centers, Shorashim Museum of Odessa Jews — was very intensive and full of rehearsals and preparations. When, finally, the celebrants and guests gathered in the specially rented facility of Palladium convention center for the event, the hall was full and there was not a single empty seat. All together, about 750 invitees gathered for this holiday. Before entering Palladium hall, most of them could see a big banner outside, visible for all the Odessans, with congratulations of Migdal with the anniversary.

The JCC began in 1992 by offering Judaica studies to mostly school and University students, and has since expanded the number of its ongoing programs from 5 to 105.
Through the diversity of its programming ? such as School of Jewish Painting (quite famous in the city), Family and Students? clubs, Shabbatons, children?s day camps and summer retreats, choirs, dance and vocal groups, other numerous activities ? Migdal has managed to reach out to all age groups, including young children, expectant mothers, and the elderly. About 1,100 families are currently involved in JCC coordinated programs.

The day of Sunday, February 5, was busy from morning till night as, in the morning, Palladium hosted a children?s party and in the afternoon ? celebration for the older part of Migdal?s membership and its guests.

The children?s part was, probably, most invigorating and interesting for both kids and their parents. In nice costumes, different children?s groups danced and sang on the stage, produced drama performances and humorous scenes depicting Migdal?s everyday life. A ?noise orchestra? (Mazel Tov group of children and parents playing various musical instruments), younger and older groups of dancers from Mazel Tov Center, children of Beitenu Center, children?s drama group of Migdal JCC, several dancing and singing groups won a storm of applause on the part of the audience and pride on the part of their teachers and parents.
Following the great tradition of receiving gifts on birthday, all the kids were awarded interesting games and tricks at the end of the holiday offered by a popular children?s story hero specially invited to the holiday. In addition to that, there were holiday sweets, refreshments, and ? joyful noise.

The afternoon part, notwithstanding its having more of an official character, was also very captivating. Speeches by invitees from the local Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, and veterans of Odessa Jewish community, were intermitting with dances, songs and original performances, which once again proved the amazing achievements of the JCC.

Among those who took the floor there was Alex Rozen, JDC Executive Director for Odessa and Southern Ukraine, Lev Koretz, Director of Israeli Cultural Center, Lev Dusman, member of Odessa Regional Association of Ghetto and Concentration Camps Survivors, Alexander Rozenboim, Chairman of Jewish Cultural Society of Odessa, members of Gmilus Hesed Board, others.

The concert program included mostly new dances by major dancing groups of Migdal and Migdal Or Jewish Community theatre, as well as a number of songs by the JCC?s choir and soloists ? laureates of numerous Ukrainian, FSU and International festivals.
The holiday ended with kapustnik ? a humorous performance, in which staff and participants of the JCC programs demonstrated their life in Migdal in a funny but thankful way.

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Kira Verkhovskaya , the President of the JCC «Migdal» center.