A unique Jewish education conference took place in Ukraine in the beginning of the month, organized by FJC’s International Pedagogical Institute “Beit Chanah” in Dnepr. The two-day event, called “Jewish heritage and modernity”, was dedicated to discussing challenges of teaching Jewish heritage and culture in higher-education institutions and presented latest academic methodics and analysis on the topic.
Education professionals from 12 Ukrainian cities participated in what was the country’s first such conference. Among the participants were members of the education ministry, teachers and professors of Jewish disciplines throughout Ukraine’s universities, community organizations’ representatives and students.
Chief rabbi of the Dnepr region Shmuel Kaminetzky welcomed guests in the opening address and expressed hopes that the forum will help consolidate personal experiences, ideas and intellectual searches of many people who treasure Jewish values. “Education is essential in the process of preserving Jewish heritage and the Biet Chanah Institute is a key player in this field,” he said.
The conference’s discussion focused on current challenges in the modern system of Jewish education for the educational professionals’ part of the audience, and on research in history and culture of Jewish communities for the liberal arts experts. It also included an emotional report on women’s education and its evolution throughout the years, presented by Mrs. Dina Stabler, a prominent Jewish speaker.
Besides the plenary sessions, participants had plenty of time to establish professional and personal connections and discuss the topics in an informal atmosphere. “The conference shed light on a lot of issues previously mentioned only in private conversations that were finally discussed openly,” said a participant from Zaporozhie. “Many thanks for the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the event and its high professional level,” she said. Other participants also reviewed highly the forum’s organization and its content.
“Such events promote interest, cooperation and mastery in the field of Jewish education and we hope to continue organizing them in the future,” said the rector of Beit Chanah Institute Rimma Aronova. She thanked the FJC of Ukraine and other organizations for help in supporting the conference.