«Jewish Observer»
March 2002
5762 Adar

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Yana Yanover is the director of the Jewish Educational Center of Ukraine, a member of the Coordination Council of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine.

- The Jewish Educational Center of Ukraine is the first establishment of this kind. It was founded in the 90s of the XX century. What is the mission of your Center?

- Our Center was founded and is functioning with the help of the Memorial Fund of Jewish Culture (New York), the Jewish Communities Development Fund in Russia and Ukraine and the "Claims Conference". The main task of our center is to enlighten Jews living on the territory of Ukraine. Nowadays the community needs new methods of Jewish education. We pay much attention to our site (http://methodicalroom.8m.com). Unique materials about the history of music and Jewish holidays are gathered there. We offer new methods of playing education, crosswords. It's very interesting. Many teachers of Jewish schools and high schools use methods from our site today. We think that it's the most convenient way to familiarize a great amount of people with this information.

The second important trend of our activity is our college. Today the Jewish college at the Jewish Educational Center of Ukraine is the leading educational institution of this kind in the country. We train specialists in the field of Jewish studies, Jewish history and culture. Many at our graduates now work in Jewish educational institutions of our city. Among them are Alena Pisnaya and Eva Rabina, who teach in school N 128. It means that there's a demand for our graduates.

- How can you assess today's Jewish education in Ukraine?

- In Israel and in America many Jews can't decide whether to join Orthodox movement or reformist one. We have another problem in Ukraine - to get back to our background somehow, to get at least some information about the question: what does it mean to be a Jew. This interval in 80 years will remind us about this problem for a long time. That's why Jewish education in Ukraine is at the beginning of its development, but it has a great future.

Learning general pedagogical subjects, our students get basic knowledge and experience of teaching activity. The students learn the methods of teaching Hebrew and classical texts. Experienced teachers work in this college. They have both higher pedagogical and Jewish education that they got in Israeli Universities. There's a pedagogical practice in Kiev Jewish schools and kindergartens for the second-year students. A block of Jewish subjects is an essential part of our educational process. They are: Jewish traditions, Jewish history, classical texts, Jewish art, modern Jewish world, modern Jewish literature, Hebrew. There are only the first and the second year students in the college. The next graduation will be in summer. I think and hope that all our students will find themselves just in the sphere of Jewish pedagogical studies.

Interviewed by Oleg Kozerod

«Jewish Observer» - obozrevatel@jewukr.org
© 2002 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org