Tsipora-Feiga Khaidukova, leader of the FJC’s Yahad Jewish youth program in Birobidzhan, and Keila Trifonova, coordinator of the local branch of the FJC’s EnerJew youth movement, were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the city’s socioeconomic development.
The event, hosted by Alexander Golovaty, Mayor of Birobidzhan, took place in ‘Simkha Kosher’ restaurant on June 28. 20 young citizens, who have made a difference to their schools, businesses or communities in the past year, gathered to celebrate Youth Day, to receive a Letter of Appreciation from the Mayor, and to discuss the city’s current problems and possible solutions.
“I was looking forward to this meeting, because I hope to hear new suggestions and opinions from you today,” said Alexander Golovaty, addressing the winners. He wished them to stay young ‘as long as possible’, to constantly improve themselves and to keep making the city’s life better.
Tsipora-Feiga Khaidukova, who leads the FJC’s Yahad Jewish youth program in Birobidzhan since 2018, revealed that she didn’t expect the award.
“I do everything for the benefit of the Jewish community and my youth club, so it is nice when it gets noticed at the municipal level, I can’t deny that. Of course, such encouragements are very important, in absolutely any activity. The more approval you get, the more you want to do,” she shared.
Efraim Kolpak, Chief Rabbi of Birobidzhan, mentioned that he was pleased to hear about the awards, but it didn’t come as a surprise: “The people who shape the Jewish environment in our city deserve such an award. In addition, these “badges of honor” motivate the community for new achievements and more successful work.”
Keila Trifonova, coordinator of EnerJew in Birobidzhan:
“The community took the news very positively, we are glad that our efforts have been acknowledged. For me personally, this award is a driving force for further development, growth and brand new ideas!”
When addressing the two winners of the award, Rabbi Kolpak added: “Surely, it’s great when your work is noticed and celebrated. However, it’s not a reason to stop, but to continue working even more intensely than before! I wish our winners to at least double their success!”
After the ceremony the guests were invited for a festive meal, where they continued to share their inspiring stories and exchange their experience with each other.
Main image: Tsipora-Feiga Khaidukova receives an award from Birobidzhan Mayor. Photo credit: Birobidzhan City Hall.