A dynamic nine-day seminar, tailored for 60 young Jewish women aged 17-27 from Russia, Belarus, and Azerbaijan, and organized by YAHAD, has recently concluded in Moscow during the opening days of August. The Summer Seminar, characterized by an invigorating blend of lectures, classes, workshops, and Chassidic gatherings deep into the night, took a contemporary approach to imparting the foundational values and ideals of Judaism to the participants, students, and young professionals.
The seminar’s itinerary was brimming with enriching content that transcended traditional boundaries, engaging attendees with a fresh and captivating approach. Diving deep into the realm of Jewish thought, Rebbetzin Rivka Zaklas of Bryansk, along with esteemed Rabbis Reuven Smolkin, Eli Kogan, and Moshe Rochlin – the director of the seminar – led a series of workshops that left a lasting impression on the eager minds. These sessions fostered an environment of open dialogue and intellectual exploration, propelling the young participants on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.
The seminar also included a variety of social activities and guided tours to significant Jewish sites across Moscow. The participants were treated to immersive experiences, including captivating Shabbatons, exciting excursions, and top-notch accommodations that added to the overall enriching atmosphere of the event.
“In a world teeming with distractions,” says Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, director of YAHAD that organized the event, “this seminar succeeded in providing a platform for young Jewish women to delve into meaningful discussions and explore profound topics in Jewish thought and tradition. The seminar’s innovative approach, paired with its engaging content, has not only strengthened the participants’ connection to their heritage but has also equipped them with the tools to navigate life’s complexities with a renewed sense of purpose and understanding.”
The Seminar was made possible thanks to the support of the STARS world organization, led by Rabbi Avi Kessel, the Meromim Foundation led by Bentzi Lipsker, and the umbrella YAHAD organization, which operates within the Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) under the guidance of Rabbi Mendy Wilansky.