A new online school program began operating throughout Russia this week. Utilizing technological advances, FJC’s Or Avner network launched the online school program called “Or Menachem” to make Jewish education accessible to thousands of Jewish children residing in remote corners of the country. Many new educational tools were especially developed for the program that brings a surge of new students into the network.
The excitement could be felt in the voice of Rabbi Berl Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, as he was honored with opening the first class of the new Jewish online school Monday. Dozens of Jewish children were watching him on their screens all over the country as Rabbi Lazar wished them good luck in their new endeavor.
The vast country of Russia is comprised of nine different time zones, but for hundreds of Jewish children, a new era began at the same moment. It began with the announcement that two new online schools would open this year as part of Or Avner, the largest educational network in the FSU.
The first of the new online schools is geared towards children who live in towns or remote areas, where no permanent Jewish community exists, which makes it nearly impossible for them to join a regular Jewish school. The second program is prepared for children of the community rabbis who reside in small cities, where no appropriate Jewish school is yet available. Both schools offer a rich and invested curriculum.
Or Avner fund director Rabbi Dovid Mondshine noted with satisfaction that the new schools are a direct continuation of the momentum in Jewish education seen throughout Russia in all age groups. “There is no doubt that they will continue a chain reaction of invested education, which bear far-reaching and long-lasting fruit,” he said.
Or Avner was founded about two decades ago by the President of Jewish Communities of the FSU, philanthropist Levi Leviev and has since also been supported by the Mirilashvili family.