Mr. Gidi Mark, CEO of the Taglit project, which encourages young Jews from around the world to visit Israel, made a special visit to Kfar Chabad, central Israel, to meet a group of youngsters from FJC’s YAHAD organization arriving from Russia. This was their first time in the Holy Land, as part of a Taglit life-changing voyage.
Rabbi Eli Wolff warmly welcomed the distinguished guest and described the significant activities of YAHAD and the Jewish communities in Russia with students and young professionals, elaborating on the challenges and the ongoing fruitful outcomes.
YAHAD serves as an umbrella organization for all Jewish youth activities in Russia and the FSU, operating under the Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC). Considerable resources and efforts are invested year-round in the youth, who represent the future generation of FSU Jewry.
Thousands participate in YAHAD’s various educational programs throughout the year, directed by Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, ranging from intensive seminars to tours across the globe. The activities are guided by rabbis and Chabad emissaries who instill Jewish values and ideals in the participants for the rest of their lives.
As part of their rich activity, groups of young Jewish people from Russia and the FSU come to visit Israel with the assistance of the Taglit project. During the voyages, they also visit the Chabad village, where they tour the replica of the headquarters of Chabad’s worldwide movement, known as 770, and learn about the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his mission. Later, they also visit the famous Etrog orchards and matzah bakery in the village.
During the meeting with the students, CEO Mr. Gidi Mark delivered moving words, telling them about the privilege of visiting the land of Israel. “I’m not just asking you to visit – bring friends to visit too,” Mark said.
One of the young Jewish participants shared with Gidi Mark a story that just a day earlier. He grew up in a household where his mother allowed her children to decide for themselves who they are, what their identity is, and where they belong. “I didn’t know if I wanted to identify as a Jew,” he shared. “I have a younger brother who is more interested, but I remained on the fence. Yesterday, following the trip, I decided I’m proud of my Judaism and as a result put on tefillin for the first time. When we will visit the Western Wall, I will put on tefillin for the second time.”