Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Shevat 5762 - January 30, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Kiruv Seminar in Kiev
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The first-ever seminar for teachers of secular studies took place in Puscha Voditza, a suburb of Kiev, Ukraine, last week. The four-day seminar attracted more than fifty participants, representing Jewish schools throughout the country. The purpose of the conference was to give an opportunity for these Jewish teachers to get a flavor of Yiddishkeit. For many of the participants, it was the first time that they had experienced a real Shabbos atmosphere, and they responded enthusiastically.

A special guest for Shabbos was Rabbi Y. D. Bleich, the Chief Rabbi of the Ukraine. In a stimulating address, replete with many anecdotes, he showed how the Shabbos experience can uplift a person.

During the course of the seminar, the main lecturers were Dr. Sholom Springer and Rabbi Meir Roberg. Dr. Springer, a noted speaker at SEED seminars, gave stimulating addresses each day on a variety of topics, including "Science and Judaism," "The Survival of the Jewish People," "Encounter at Mt. Sinai," "The Uniqueness of the Hebrew Language," and "Judaism in the Hi-Tech World."

Rabbi Roberg, who organized the educational program, gave the keynote address on the role of the successful mechanech. He also gave a number of thought-provoking lectures on educational topics relevant to the needs of the participants. On Shabbos he gave a shiur on kashrus, showing the many side-benefits it will bring to those who observe it. Mrs. Roberg gave an inspiring talk to the ladies after kabolas Shabbos, explaining the role of the Jewish woman.

In the evenings, there were "Question and Answer" sessions in which Rabbi Bleich, Rabbi Roberg, Dr. Springer and Professor Pieski (a noted biologist and head of the Jewish school in Kharkov) participated.

At the closing session on Sunday afternoon, many of the teachers volunteered to speak about how much the seminar had meant to them personally in terms of their Yiddishkeit. A follow-up seminar is already being planned for the summer.

The practical organization for the event was undertaken by Mr. Tuvia (Anatoly) Shengait, Executive Director of Jewish Organizations in the Ukraine. Tuvia himself spent some time learning Torah in Yeshivas Shavei Gola in Jerusalem some years ago. There he was strongly influenced by Rabbi A. Feuerstein, zt"l, who imbued him with the desire to become a marbitz Torah in the Ukraine.


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