Hundreds of Jewish students from all over Russia, together with their dedicated communal rabbis and rebbetzins that assist them in getting closer to Judaism all year round, have set out on a unique Jewish journey upon a luxury ship heading to Turkey from Russia.
More than 550 students are participating in the voyage, which is organized by the YAHAD organization which operates within the framework of the FJC – the Federation of Jewish Communities, active throughout the former Soviet Union.
The ship sailed last Thursday from the shores of Sochi in Russia to Turkey. On Friday, before sunset, the ship docked in the city of Sinop, where the students spent an uplifting and unforgettable Shabbaton together: a wonderful opening to the upcoming experiential week.
On Shabbat night, the students enjoyed an inspiring lecture from the Chief Rabbi and Head Shliach of Russia, Berel Lazar, who together with his wife Rebbetzin Chana, are accompanying the entire journey and are making it a meaningful experience for the young participants. After the Shabbat night prayer services and a luxury Shabbat meal, special social activities in groups took place deep into the night. In addition, during the afternoon hours, the students received a special opportunity to openly address questions to Rabbi Lazar and his wife and receive detailed answers.
At night, after the Shabbat ended, a unique Havdalah ceremony was held on the ship’s deck by Rabbi Avi Cassel, who works tirelessly throughout the year in many different ways for the success of the YAHAD organization.
“The coming week will be busy and full of significant and fun events,” says the director of ‘YAHAD’, Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, “but the most important thing is the meeting between so many young Jews coming together for a week of pride and pure Jewish unity, thanks to which hundreds of Jewish homes will be established according to Jewish tradition, something which is the most significant challenge of our time.”
The Journey is being produced by Fleishman Peles Productions.