Name of implementing organization:Kharkov Jewish Community
Date of initial project approval:October 2004
Date of project renewal:October 2006
The program aims to attract students who have completed school to attend a full-time Jewish Academy where they will receive a top quality education in JewishStudies, and a government recognized diploma. These students will become a core group of future leaders in the community. They will work in Jewish organizations, and run youth, student, and school programs.
Upon completing the 6-year course the girls will have a fully accredited degree in Management/English Language, as well as practical experience in Jewish leadership.
It is hoped that as a result of participation in the project, students will refrain from intermarriage and assimilation. Thus, the program will further strengthen the Jewish community.
The program takes place in the Jewish Community Center within the synagogue . The first half of the day is devoted to Jewish Studies: Jewish History , Chumash , Dinim/Halacha, Jewish Tradition, the Jewish Home, Chassidic Philosophy, Parshat Hashavua, Jewish Leadership and Teaching Methods . During the second half of the day , professors from the University of Kharkov (for the English program) and the President’s Academy (for the Business Management program) present lectures.
The girls remain in the dormitory for Shabbatot and Chagim. They run Shabbat programs, children’s programs, and the Sunday school. They are involved in all community activities (e.g. Purim programs , communal sedarim etc.) and also serve as counselors in the Day Camp and Overnight camp, and run extra-curricular activities in the Jewish Day School .
The Academy implements seminars and Shabbatonim throughout the year, in order to strengthen and enrich the girls' knowledge, friendships and learning experiences.
Most students joined the Academy in order to obtain free higher education. However, as they studied and participated in community activities, many of the girls became closer to their Jewish roots. Today, most of them are sure that they would marry only a Jewish partner. Girls who were quiet and introverted and lacked basic knowledge of Judaism now run a Sunday program and teach Jewish traditions and values.
The girls came from many different backgrounds: from Kharkov, and from smaller cities; from Jewish day schools, together with girls who had walked into the synagogue for the first time. The seminars and Shabbatonim were a big help in overcoming the ‘barriers’ between the girls and building friendships, despite their differences. However, as the project began its fourth year, the Jewish Studies staff felt a need to divide the Jewish Studies classes into more levels, but did not have sufficient staff to do so.
6 Chubara St KB 39, Kharkov Ukraine 61002