At the end of January, FJC’s EnerJew youth movement, opened a branch in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, making it the 40th city in the project and bringing the number of participants to over 2,500. Now in its 4th year, EnerJew has become a powerful force on the region’s Jewish map.
“We are happy to finally open up in Kiev, where we will now have a part of our large international community. We hope the club in Kiev becomes a second home for Jewish teenagers much in the same way it has become so for teenagers all over the FSU,” said Alexandra Nikitina, the new club’s coordinator in Kiev.
Kiev is the last one in a series of new cities added to the project this season. In September EnerJew opened in Cherkassy, Oryol, Krasnodar, and Krasnoyarsk in Russia and Almaty in Kazakhstan, spanning eight countries on the FSU’s map.
Besides physical growth, this season EnerJew is set on shifting paradigms, on entering a new quality stage of its development. “The attitudes are changing,” said Konstantin Shulman, the movement’s director at the project’s coordinators seminar in December. “We are moving away from pure consumption, focusing more on action, on doing, on volunteering. This is the year we start giving back.”
Shulman said EnerJew is becoming the main activities operator for Jewish communities across the FSU, whether it be organizing events for younger children and the elderly or going into other formats entirely. “Also, the amount of sub-projects, these satellites that surround the movement, is incredible – they span a full range of community needs,” he said.
Amongst the new projects are volunteering initiatives, cooperation with global Jewish movements, informal education and more. “EnerJew is becoming a moving force, a network that brings real changes into the regions, modernizing Jewish communities. And this year we’ll take it even further,” Shulman concluded.