The Voyage to Thailand: The Exciting Experience That Turns Hundreds of Russian Youths into Proud Jews

Over 600 young Jewish students and young professionals from Russia and the FSU are currently participating in an exciting and powerful journey to strengthen their Jewish identity taking place in Thailand. The journey’s participants are young individuals who invest throughout the entire year in Torah and Judaism studies together with their local rabbis and Chabad emissaries, seriously and systematically, within the framework of the YAHAD organization that operates under the auspices of the Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) and the leadership of the Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar.

Numerous flights led the hundreds of participants to Thailand from Russia, Belarus, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Dozens of groups, with hundreds of youngsters from across the FSU, gathered at the luxurious hotel where they will be staying during the trip.

The unique experience, which provides vast knowledge in Yiddishkeit within the framework of an uplifting journey, began with a Tuk-Tuk ride and a tour of the Asian market. During the one-hour journey, each of the designated buses was accompanied by a charismatic rabbi and lecturer who spoke and uplifted the participants. The enjoyable Tuk-Tuk ride around the city was conducted under police escort.

Towards the journey’s first evening, the hundreds of Jewish students gathered together with their accompanying rabbis for an exciting opening event at the hotel’s main hall. The evening also included an emotional “Pidyon HaBen” ceremony for one of the youths who recently underwent circumcision.

The evening was opened with heartwarming words by the director of the YAHAD organization, Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, who spoke about the great privilege of coming together for a journey whose main purpose is Jewish pride. Rabbi Wilansky explained what Jewish pride is and emphasized that throughout the generations, Jewish pride helped the Jews to cope with the decrees and hardships. In our times, even more so—in the Holy Land and on University campuses around the world—the Jewish soul awakens and arouses Jewish pride that no one can extinguish.

The audience sang together songs of Jewish pride and joy and was next introduced to the Chief Rabbi of Thailand, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor. In his speech, he spoke about the pride and Jewish unity that unites all Jews around the world around the Creator, His Torah, and His commandments.

Together with Rabbi Kantor, the students emotionally read together Psalms chapters for the merit and success of the residents of the Holy Land, the security forces risking their lives to protect them, the captives in distress, and all those in need of salvation.

Following, the names of the many student groups attending were excitedly announced, and each group’s members stood up, enabling all present to enjoy the magnificent and powerful mosaic of hundreds of Jewish souls uniting from so many cities and countries for a voyage of unity and pride.

The exciting journey that will continue surprising in the upcoming days, is organized by the YAHAD organization operating under the Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) and with the support and dedication of the Meromim Foundation directed by Rabbi Bentzi Lipsker of Petersburg, and by Rabbi Avi Cassel of Olami, both of whom are also accompanying this special journey.

The Journey is produced by Fleishman-Peles Productions.

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