Online Students Get to Meet for 10 Days in Moscow

Sons of community rabbis and Chabad emissaries serving remote Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union got to meet face-to-face with their classmates from online school during a winter camp in Moscow.

By COLlive reporter

A few years ago, FJC’s “Or Avner – Chabad” educational network recognized the educational challenges faced by the families of the community rabbis and Chabad emissaries, who live in remote areas in the former Soviet Union with a small Jewish population and few Jewish institutions.

The ‘Or Menachem’ Online School was established with the initiation and encouragement of Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar. It provides quality Jewish education to students from different time zones through screens on a daily basis.

Once a year, these students get to meet their classmates face-to-face. The 10-day winter camp hosted by Cheder Menachem in Moscow, Russia, is a once-a-year opportunity for these students to enjoy each other’s company.

Rabbi Menachem Halperin, the Israel-based principal of the school, said: “This whole gathering will definitely leave a deep impression and a significant impact on the souls of the young. I want to thank the management of Or Avner who took care of this unique gathering out of a desire to ensure the well-being and future of the young children.”

One educator said, “Some of the children live in a place where most of the day is dark; some also cope with minus 30 degrees. This camp is not a luxury; it is a real necessity. Suddenly, all the figures on the screen became real. If it were up to the students, they would want to stay together for many more days.”

During the ten-day camp, the students – who came this time from Russia, Belarus, and Azerbaijan – stayed at the large educational center in the heart of Moscow. They studied together in real classrooms, prayed together in the synagogue, enjoyed social games together, and, of course, played together with the fresh snow that piled up on the sides of the streets.

Parents warmly thanked the school’s management, Rabbi Menachem Rabinovich, who pushed and organized the invested project and closely accompanied it.

“Although the school’s format is virtual, all the students and educators feel like one big family, and this is also the relationship between the students and the educators and vice versa,” Or Avner said in a statement. “After ten days, the students parted in tears of excitement from each other, already eagerly awaiting the next meeting.”

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