Orakh Hayim Teens Project

Sunday school

Kiev, Ukraine
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About the project

Project Orach Chaim Teens is an important and integral part of Orach Chaim Kiev Jewish Community.

Avromi Bleich, the program facilitator and officer, is telling the story behind the project:

"...The program brings together many boys and girls (12–18 years old) from around Kiev district together for exciting lessons, programs and entertainments. We have an amazing atmosphere where they come and have a great time and at the same time learn about the beauty of the Jewish tradition and life style in the best way possible for the young generation. During our program and activities we have communications between orthodox and secular Boyz and Girls from Ukraine and from Israel…"

The meetings take place on Sundays and sometimes on Tuesdays. The project also involves trips to Jewish places in Ukraine, holding joint Shabbatons, camps and other events with Jewish peers from Jewish communities in various cities of Ukraine.The program is reaching out for about 50 teens on a regular basis, some of them pupils of the Jewish school and some not.The program faces several goals: to bring the teens closer to the Jewish values and the worldview, to avoid the secondary school pupils from leaving the Jewish schools, to let the teens attain life skills and competences for professional growth in the future, and to counteract assimilation by creating a Jewish social circle.

About the community

The Kiev Jewish community "Orakh Chaim" developed around the famous Synagogue in Podil (Shchekavitskaya str. 29) – the only synagogue in Kiev that continued to operate after World War II. The revival of the community was led by the family of the young Rabbi Yakov Dov Bleich (since 1992 – Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine, President of the Union of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine). The community's activities today include the synagogue, a school and a kindergarten, a kolel, a training center named after V. Shifrin, a cultural center named after V. L. Rodnyanskaya, a mikvah, a matso-bakery, the only Jewish hotel in Kiev, a recreation camp "Mahane Shuva". During 2001–2003, the synagogue building was fully reconstructed.