Name of implementing organization:Dnepropetrovsk Rosalind Gurwin Jewish Community Center.
Date of initial project approval:February 2004
Dnepropetrovsk is one of the largest regional economic centers of Ukraine, with total population exceeding 1.5 million. It is a financial and industrial hub. At its peak, the city boasted 43 synagogues, a Jewish hospital, 16 Jewish schools, charitable organizations, a home for the aged, a Jewish bank and an extensive network of cultural organizations.
The Communist regime closed the synagogues and other Jewish institutions. In 1942, the Nazis ruthlessly killed 40,000 Jews in the city. Despite a virulent post-war anti-Semitic policy, survivors returned and Jews from other localities were drawn to the area. Nevertheless, Jewish life in the postwar years was extremely limited. Jews would gather in the synagogue only for Yom Kippur, which in itself was a daring act of defiance.
Today, Dnepropetrovsk is enjoying an unprecedented revival of Jewish activity. The Jewish community numbers approximately 60,000 people and has an extended network of educational, religious and cultural institutions, including:
As a result of their Jewish studies, participants produced creative materials on Jewish themes (holiday cards, posters, movies and cartoons, etc.)
The project is establishing a supplementary afternoon "Talmud Torah" for children 6 through 16 years old. The curriculum includes Jewish holidays, the Jewish life cycle, Shabbat, Jewish history, and Jewish ethics. The program implements creative expression of Judaism through the arts, and includes much hands-on activity.
The Project has received positive evaluations, in regular feedback from parents, children, and JCC participants.
About a thousand original children’s worksof art, reflecting their perception of the Jewish world and demonstrating the growth of their Jewish identity, have been created. 16 exhibitions and 5 animated movies based on Torah and Midrashim texts were produced by the project. the The project has published a“King Solomon’s Parables” and “Abraham’s 10 Trials” set of greeting cards. There have been numerous presentations.
Learning Judaica on the territory of the former Soviet Union often arouses subconscious alarm among Jewish parents. Therefore a lot of Jewish parents prefer teaching their children at creative studios.
Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk, 4 Sholom-Aleichem Stereet, Rosalind Gurwin Jewish
Telephone/fax: (0-562) 362983 362985 34-13-01