In the weeks before the fall High Holidays, Russian-speaking Jews worldwide were surprised to catch a glimpse of a series of fun video clips focused on the upcoming special days in Jewish calendar. The videos, some produced by FJC’s Yahad youth programs platform and some by Zhukovka Moscow JCC, featured local TV personalities, music celebrities, as well as FJC rabbis, and presented each holiday’s central idea as an intriguing film plot. They quickly went viral among the Jewish population of Runet (Russian-speaking internet segment), young people sharing them with friends and family.
“We wanted to saturate the local youth market with quality content material. While in America or Israel there is plenty of Jewish video content to go around, in the FSU it is still very new, and we need to jump in and start filling the void,” said rabbi Mendy Willansky, Yahad’s director. Up to now, the organization only produced promotional videos for upcoming events, he said, and they are very excited for this new avenue.
“The response from youth and students has been very enthusiastic,” Willansky said, “we feel we’re on the right track.” Yahad is planning to continue producing Jewish content videos, illuminating Jewish philosophy ideas, traditions and the events of the Jewish calendar. The clips will be geared towards youth, executed in a dramatic and intriguing manner.