Vineyard of Akiva
Location:10 cities in the Volga region, Russia
Name of implementing organization:Russian Jewish Youth Congress
Date of initial project approval:October 2011
Project aims and objectives
To promote Jewish knowledge and identity, and participants' ties to the Jewish community
Youth and young adults, ages 18-35
This project is conducting a one-year pilot program for students and young adults in 10 cities of the Volga region: Ufa, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Penza, Perm, Samara, Saratov, Kazan, Izhevsk, and Ulyanovsk. The main element of the educational program is lessons conducted via web conferences. The online classes are broadcast at community centers and youth clubs. Approximately 15 students participate at each location. The educational program is comprised of 4 inter-related blocks, each comprised of five 2-hour lectures: Bible (including Biblical history of the Jewish People; and approaches to Bible studies); Jewish History (including the Talmudic era; history of the Jews in the Hellenic period; and Jews of the Middle Ages); Talmud (historic background of the Talmud; content of the Babylonian Talmud; structure of the text and its literary character); and Midrashim and Rabbinic Literature (including the theological approach to understanding Jewish Law; rules and regulations of the Sages; and the influence of Rabbinic literature). The internet lectures will be placed on RU-UTube.
Instructors for the web courses include Professor Arkady Kovelman and Professor Mikhail Chlenov. Classes include both a lecture and an inter-active discussion led by the instructors. The discussion period facilitates formation of connections among members of the class. At the end of the course, each student is expected to prepare a report on a topic which interests him.
A minimum of 40 students who complete the web courses with at least an 85% attendance record will attend a 3-day regional seminar in Ulyanovsk, which will deal with the same topics as the online classes, in greater depth. The seminar will be comprised of 7 hours of lectures (Bible studies; Jewish literary heritage; types of Jewish sources; the structure of Midrash); 8 hours of interactive classes (the influence of Judaism on the history of the Jews; the influence of cultural context on Jewish literature; and the Jewish Sages); and 6 hours of Bet Midrash study of Jewish texts. Two lecturers, who also participated in teaching the web courses, will provide the instruction.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
15 students are expected to participate at each of the 10 locations.
The facilities to conduct web conferences
High level lecturers
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION?
Instructors include Professor Arkady Kovelman, Professor Mikhail Chlenov, Professor Leonid Matsih, and Dr. Viktoria Mochalova.
Main budget elements
Academic Leader of project
Lecturers for online classes and regional seminars
Room & board for regional seminars