LOOK FROM ASIDE
SCIENCE AND CULTURE
In Brief ...
Kazakhstan.Israel has signed a contract worth 5 mln shekels with a Kazakhstan company "Arna". It concerns exporting "Tas" computerized system through which users will get an access to Internet and multi media. The contract envisages creating 23 sites in the Almaty area remaining a business center of Kazakhstan.
Russia. The building of a former synagogue in Novorossiysk is for auction sale as its present owner - construction trust #12 of the town of Anapa - lacks funds. A Rostov Rabbi Elyashiv Kaplun applies resolute efforts to prevent this. "Such attitude to the heritage of Jews of South Russia is admissible", - insists he.
Russia. A Russian society of friends of Jewish University in Jerusalem has been created in Moscow. A member of the board of directors of "Alef-Bank". Mark Shabad has become director of the foundation, and the society's board of guardians is to be headed by a deputy chairman of the Committee on international affairs of RF Council of Federation Leonid Nevzlin.
At present, societies of University's friends are active in 23 countries on five continents.
The Russian society intends to raise funds for academic and scientific research programs Russian and Israeli scientists jointly carry out.
Russia. Chairman of the Birobijan Jewish religious community "Freid" Lev Toitman has called on the JAR inhabitants not to conceal their nationality during a coming All-Russian census. Speaking on the regional radio Toitman reminded of the census held in 1930's. He noted, in particular, people of those times had been afraid to give their nationality and many Jews became Russians.
Today, according to him, there are no reasons to be afraid of one's nationality or apprehend to mention it.
Russia. On the initiative of an independent deputy Nikolai Gonchar the State Duma has addressed the head of government Mikhail Kasjanov with a deputy inquiry on creating a RF general consulate in Haifa. 270 deputies have voted in favor of this decision. The inquiry states the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia also supports an offer to start a general consulate in Haifa as this corresponds to country's interests.
Gonchar was elected to the State Duma from Moscow Central one-mandate electoral district #202. Citizens of Russia residing in Israel are ascribed to this very district.
Russia. A Jewish charitable cultural center "Khesed Akhim" began its work September 12 in Rybinsk. It includes five organizations: a JAR branch, Kesher women's club, Sunday school, Jewish religious community (FJOR) and charitable fund. The community received premises for its activity (rent for 15 years). There are 30 rooms with the space of 260 sq.m. But the premises need an expensive repair.
Rybinsk is one of few cities where organizations' leaders are not at odds with one another, but do one common cause. At the opening ceremony the community was presented with a Xerox ("Joint") and a beautiful mezuzah (Kostroma Jewish community). Director of the Yaroslavl Jewish culture center "Tse Ulman" Nadezhda Nosova and director of the "Khesed Rakhel" center from the same city Galina Karpman pronounced warm words to a newly-fledged community. A real present to the gathering became a performance of Yaroslavl Khesed art collective, which showed its program "Jewish borough". The audience echoed well known to everyone words of songs "Oifn pripechek", "A idishe mame" and others. In the second part there was shown a play on Sholom Aleikhem stories. Artists and a dance collective of Rybinsk community youth club wound up the event.
Dnepropetrovsk. A youth club "Yakhad" working in the Dnepropetrovsk cultural center has opened its new season.
How did it happen? The "Yakhad" youth club began its season merrily, without any boring official ceremonies. Only the club president Ariel Datel and his wife Mikhal made short speeches.
A big disco program with contests - everything proceeded so festively and merrily. The beginning is said to be half of the matter. If the season goes like the beginning, let's hope, we will have the success. The following hobby groups are included into the club program:
"Little stalls - forshmack" - for kids aged 13-18. They discover their hidden talents, learn Jewish traditions, State of Israel.
"School club" - a project for youth aged 15-20 - lays stress on the work to help a human to feel himself a Jew.
"Yakhad show" - sets a target to give as much new, interesting, trustworthy information about Israel as possible.
"Intimate conversation" - questions worrying Jewish youth in Diaspora as well as in Israel.
"Cinema club" - acquaintance with Israel and Jewry by means of corresponding movies by Jewish directors and performers.
"Madrikha school"- training of madrikhas for ICC.
Besides, there exist "Students club", "Theatrical studio and KVN", "Historical hobby club".
The backbone of the youth club consists of more than 100 students and senior pupils.
After the materials of the site
of Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community and
ICC in Dnepropetrovsk
Ivano-Frankovsk. A question on solving the problems of national minorities and religious communities was considered at two recent meetings of "Our city" public union. There were present deputies of Ivano-Frankovsk city council and members of "Our city" fraction. The gathering debated the condition of a synagogue situated in the central part of the city, particularly, repairing its front, as well as the return of a reconstructed Collegiate to the city Roman-Catholic community.
Renewal of a society demands transition from words to deeds. It is impossible to talk about creating European Ivano-Frankovsk without solving these urgent problems. Both questions are specific and parallel. Obviously, Judaic as well as Roman-Catholic communities have the right to possess premises they had owned before 1939.
However, the Jewish community is not able to finance the repair works of the front and reconstruction of four towers destroyed in 1950's. Whereas Roman-Catholics are ready to fund the works and maintain the Collegiate building, but have no permission to hold public worship in it.
Obviously, solving of these problems needs the attention of oblast and city authorities.
As it was mentioned at the meeting, intra-city problems, even rather complicated, should not be made political and interstate ones; the situation should not be artificially forced as every single case concerns the support of constitutional rights of city residents and those of Ukraine, as well.
Representatives of Judaic and Roman-Catholic communities participated in the meetings, in particular, Rabbi of Ivano-Frankovsk oblast V.Kolesnik and the chairman of Roman-Catholic church committee L.Orel. They came out with short speeches and answered many questions of those present.
Press - release
The President of Russian Jewish Congress Yevgeny Satanovsky answered the questions of a Virtual waiting room visitors at IJC.ru
Alexander Shtein: Dear Yevgeny Yanovich! Which programs does RJC hold or plan to hold for "Russian community" in Israel?
Y.S.: First - the assistance to terror victims and lots of actions aimed at supporting medical infrastructure. This is, it's clear, not only "Russian" business, but, regretfully, there are many of "ours" among victims.
Second - the informational flow working today in two directions, including Virtual Jewish Russian-speaking community, which created, with the help of Internet, a new unity of Russian-speaking Jews.
We support publishing programs "Gesharim" issuing every year tens of books in Russian. The circulation reaches tens of thousands of copies: fiction, science, social journalism...
Of big significance for the "Russian street" are contacts between Russia and Israel the RJC establishes on the interstate level, as well as on the level of organizations, departments and institutes. Thus, namely RJC became the organizer of Russian-Israeli cooperation in the academic sphere. It was arranged on the basis of common programs of MSU, SPSU, Jewish University in Moscow, Petersburg Judaic institute and Jewish university in Jerusalem.
Yefim Noyman: Which of the RJC spheres of activity you consider the dominant one: anti-defamation, charity, education, youth policy, community support? Where will main funds go to?
Y.S.: My own opinion: the main thing is the system of higher fashion education and youth programs. This support allows involving into an active community life young generation of Jewish intellectual elite, future leaders, the most perspective part of our people. Nevertheless, it is impossible to allocate funds only to these spheres forgetting about the others.
Anatoly Veksler: Yevgeny Yanovich, what are strategic prospects of higher Jewish education in Russia for 10-15 years?
Y.S.: Prospects are huge. Within the frames of a higher Jewish education system in Moscow and Saint Petersburg several hundred professors and almost a thousand students have created an academic society. It differs not only by the high level of teaching and friendly atmosphere, but by amazing spirit of academic liberalism as well, peculiar for best universities of the world. Within this system there are quite a few scientific projects of a world level. Today - the key for this system is the transition to a qualitatively new degree: obtaining by Jewish higher educational establishments of personal campuses.