A hundred young Jewish adults from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Estonia and four more FSU countries came together as one large family in Jerusalem this weekend for an inspirational EnerJew Coordinators seminar. This seminar was organized specifically for the youth movement’s coordinators, who lead EnerJew city club activity and are responsible for programming and local development.
“The role of EnerJew coordinators changed drastically in the last few years, as the movement grew,” said Konstantin Shulman, EnerJew’s director. “Their level of involvement, responsibility, and interaction increased incrementally. Therefore, we see this seminar as a chance to provide them with inspiration and motivation to continue their important work locally when they get back.”
The seminar launched last Thursday night with an opening ceremony and a networking event, followed by a panel discussion and a late-night trip to the center of Jerusalem for a group activity and a guided tour. Friday, followed with more excursions – excavations near the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem neighborhood tours. “We wanted the group to see various facets of the eternal city, not only its biblical history but also more modern elements of late 19th and early 20th century,” said Eliezer Lesovoy, EnerJew’s educational director.
The group spent Shabbat together, resting, learning, bonding and having fun. “There is no better or deeper experience than spending Shabbat together, especially here, in Jerusalem. It’s a special atmosphere that you couldn’t get any other way,” said Lena Glazova, EnerJew mentor and one of the seminar’s organizers.
Saturday night continued with colorful EnerJew programming awards, which noted the best events organized throughout last year in EnerJew cities focusing on Jewish content, innovation, and original ideas.
The seminar concluded Sunday with new projects presentation, feedbacks, and emotional goodbyes. “This seminar is all about inspiration. At home, you are consumed by routine – reports, preparations, and so even the greatest work becomes tiresome. Here we were reminded of the reasons we love doing what we do – being EnerJew coordinators, working with Jewish teenagers and communities. We met colleagues from all over the FSU, many of them are new, we connected and learned from each other and from our mentors and educators, exchanged ideas and drew motivation for the rest of the year,” said Bella Boyarkina, one of the coordinators from Samara, Russia.
This year EnerJew launched in 40 cities in eight FSU countries, from Kazakhstan to the Baltic states, spanning over 2,500 teenagers aged 13 to 18. Its activity is supported by the FJC, the Finger foundation and the Jewish Agency for Israel.