Overcoming security concerns, Jewish youth in Ukraine celebrate an exciting and memorable Bar and Bat Mitzvah Seminar in the Carpathian Mountains. Organized by EnerJew, FSU’s Jewish Youth Movement, the special event drew over 50 teenagers turning this year to age.
In spite of the security situation, justified concerns, and the natural desire to defend and protect themselves, over fifty Jewish boys and girls reaching the age of Bar and Bat Mitzvah (12 and 13) made their way from all across Ukraine to the Carpathian Mountains to participate in a unique weekend seminar organized by FJC’s youth movement, EnerJew – supported year-round by the Finger Family Foundation. A significant milestone, in the life of every Jewish teenager.
The location in western Ukraine was chosen by the “Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project” – supported by the Meromim Foundation – to distance the participants from the crisis atmosphere and provide them with a moment of beauty during these turbulent times. The organizers’ aspiration was indeed realized, although sirens reached the Carpathian Mountains and momentarily disrupted the tranquility of the participants on three occasions. Filled with faith and joy, the experienced staff seized the momentum and transformed these moments in the shelter into empowering and captivating experiences.
This year’s seminar was accompanied by a unique concept that successfully integrated boys and girls who actively participated throughout the year in the project’s preparation courses, with boys and girls that, due to the emergency situation in the country, could not consistently attend the meetings. Thus, a comprehensive and experiential curriculum was developed to ensure that those who missed out could catch up quickly and efficiently by completing all the course materials provided in the workbooks during the seminar days.
The seminar encompassed rich and interactive Jewish content, lectures, and classes on the significance of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah day, attractions and experiences, social games, luxury meals, experiential prayers, and much more.
The pinnacle events during the seminar included a joyous and festive Shabbat, personalized gifts, pampering treats, and an exclusive ATV tour on Sunday. Together, these elements created an emotional experience that will be cherished for a lifetime by every participant.
The seminar was led by the professional staff and educators of EnerJew, along with esteemed guests who arrived at the seminar especially to be with the youth.