Over 8,000 FSU students, from Riga to Khabarovsk have participated in FJC Darkeinu’s educational Olympic contest since the project’s launch in 2013. Annually, thousands of 2nd to 11th-grade students participate in the contest, testing their skills in the largest Jewish studies competition throughout the FSU.
This year the contests’ finals are taking place in Dnieper and in Moscow. The Dnieper final for students from Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Latvia took place this week among 47 lucky finalists, who competed in their knowledge of Jewish history, tradition, personalities, and trivia.
The finalists were selected from 1,340 students, who began the contest in the first round in the fall. The finals have three age categories, 5-6th grade, 7-8th grade and 9-11th grades. The winners are awarded valuable prizes – this year they took home hoover-boards, selfy-printers, ‘smart’ backpacks and many other gadgets. The finalists arrive at the city together with their teachers and parents – the trip, accommodations and an entertainment program provided by the contest.
This week’s Dnieper winners were Bina Yerish from Odessa, Denis Solovyev from Kiev and Eva Mishieva from Baku. 2nd and 3rd places were claimed by students from Kamesnkoye, Krivoi Rog, Cherkassy, Baku, Odessa, and Dnieper. “I’m beyond happy. Thank you for such an awesome contest!” said Denis Solovyev, 1st place winner in the 7-8th grades category.
Darkeinu Olympics is a signature informal education project of Darkeinu, a unique Jewish studies educational curriculum for children in the FSU countries. This year Darkeinu Olympics marks its first anniversary. “Throughout its five-year history, Darkeinu Olympics enabled thousands of Jewish school students to proudly demonstrate their knowledge, put their skills to the test, and in the process have fin and connect to many other students from across the region,” said Mrs. Sarah Vernick, Darkeinu’s informal education projects coordinator. “The parents of these students grew up under the Soviet rule when studying Jewish heritage subjects was forbidden and seemed utterly impossible. We are happy and proud that our projects help their children turn that reality around.”
Darkeinu is a non-profit project supported by FJC’s Or Avner fund, established by Mr. Leviev and his wife Olga, as well as other partners.