YAHAD Fest Seminars Bring New Inspiration to FSU Youth

A series of regional winter seminars, attended by Jewish students from dozens of surrounding cities and towns, drew hundreds of enthusiastic youngsters eager to develop their Jewish identity and spirituality and gain deep knowledge and a stronger connection to Jewish ideals, values, and traditions.

Four uplifting regional seminars focusing on Jewish identity and practicality took place across the former Soviet Union throughout the winter months of 2024. They occurred in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan; Minsk, the capital of Belarus; Khabarovsk in Far Eastern Russia; and Nizhny Novgorod, central Russia. These seminars demonstrated the youngsters’ ever-growing desire to connect to their roots and heritage.

Combining lectures, classes, brainstorming sessions, special experiences, joint prayer services, tours, and excursions, along with high-level meals and accommodations, formed the perfect setting for the young Jewish students and professionals to delve into a wide range of intriguing topics and make acquaintances with many new friends and potential spouses.

“The everlasting effect these unique seminars have on the participants, their families, and their surroundings for generations to come,” says Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, YAHAD director, “makes every ounce of the great efforts invested worth it. It’s heartwarming to see young adults put everything aside and focus on what really matters: their true identity.”

Among the prominent international lecturers attending the seminars were rabbis Moshe Rochlin, Baruch Gorin, Menachem Kleinberg, Reuven Kolin, Yisrael Feldsherov, Avraham Ilyaguyev, and Alex Prochansky, who, along with the local community rabbis and YAHAD staff, made these historic seminars a success.

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