A delegation of almost 1,000 Jewish college students from Russia will be visiting Switzerland, Austria, and Poland this week, as part of their EuroStars trip, organized by YAHAD, FJC’s young adult programs platform. The trip comes as a reward for the weekly Jewish heritage classes that the participants engaged in throughout the year.
The trip, meticulously planned by YAHAD staff during many long months, will combine fun outdoor activities, learning, and commemoration of history, cultural and traditional experiences. After skiing and rafting, a learning forum is planned in Innsbruck, Austria, with prominent Jewish leaders, including FJC president Mr. Levi Leviev, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, Brazilian philanthropist Mr. Elie Horn, and more. On the night of Lag B’Omer, five traditional Jewish weddings will take place at the same location as a unique and emotional event.
The trip will conclude next Sunday at the Birkenau concentration camp in Poland with a moving ceremony that will include personal accounts from Rabbi Lazar’s parents, who are Holocaust survivors and a Sheva Brachot celebration for the newly-wed couples in a striking juxtaposition of death and life.
“Importantly, the trip is about living as Jews and having fun, too. These students learned the entire year and we want to show them the appreciation for it,” underlined Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, YAHAD director.
In the meantime, program participants from 49 cities throughout Russia are making final preparations for the trip and the excitement is through the roof. “The EuroStars trip is one of the most amazing experiences one could have ever wished for and we can not wait for the start,” said Daniel, one of the participants from the city of Samara.
The 2018 EuroStars trip is sponsored by the Abramovitch, Horn and Mirilashvili family funds, the Mosaic United organization as well as other FJC partners.