Historical Bar-Mitzvah in Nikolaev
In Nikolaev, the birth place of seventh Lubavich Rebbe Menahem-Mendel Shneerson was a gathering to celebrate Bar-Motzvah, a jewish becoming of age, of Israel the oldest son of the head Rabbi of Nikolaev Rabbi Sholom Gottlib and his wife Dina.
Meyer Shlomo Yanovskiy, Israel’s grandfather was the last official Rabbi of Nikolaev until 1917. His father Rabb Sholom Gottlib, became the city’s head Rabbi after fall of the iron curtain.
For the Jewish community of Nikolaev this was truly a historical occasion. According to the older jewish residents of the city, there hasn’t been a jewish becoming of age celebrated in the city since the 1917 community turnover.
Hundreds of the closest and most respectable people gathered in a comfly Illusion club to celebrate this monumental occasion together with the Gottlib family. Rabbis and representatives from twelve Ukrainian cities came to wish happy birthday to Israel.
Unfortunately due to heavy frog, the plane which among other guests had birthday boy’s grandparents on it, had to return to Israel after circling around the Oddessa airport for fifty minutes.
Touching and grand sounded the speech of himself Bar-Mitzvah. Israel, as on such occasion it is a custom to do read, memorized earlier maamar Rebe.
Warm wishes came from Israel’s father, guests — Lubavich’s Rebe emissaries from all of Ukraine, and representatives from various jewish organizations. Also, a congratulating speech came from Nikolaev’s Mayer Vladimir Chaika.
Guests were able to watch a picture slide show from the Gottlib family archive.
A real surprise for everyone present and especially for the birthday boy himself was a cheerie “Bar-Mitzvah” song, sung by Israel’s brothers.
Independence Day was celebrated in Regional Jewish Community
On August 24th Ukraine celebrated the 15th Anniversary of its independence. Even though this day was the day of mourning because of crash of Russian plane in Donetsk Region, holiday events took place throughout the whole country.
Nikolaev regional Jewish community didn’t remain aside of these events. The Rabbi of Nikolaev Sholom Gottliebe participated in the ceremony of flowers laying to the monument of Nikolay Arkas and the Memorial of Olshanskiy’s Detachment Heroes.
The Head of Nikolaev Regional State Administration Aleksandr Sadykov, his deputies, press secretary and newsmen were present during the public prayer for the sake of Ukraine that took place at Nikolaev Synagogue. Nikolaev Governor familiarized himself with the life of Nikolaev Jews, visited the exhibition dedicated to the tragedies of Jewish people arranged in the entrance hall of Synagogue, talked to the Head Rabbi of Nikolaev City and Nikolaev Region Sholom Gottliebe and delivered a short speech to the large audience at the central hall of Synagogue.
Appeal of Nikolaev Regional Jewish Community to the Embassy of Israel
We are the witnesses of uneasy situation in the Middle East, which is dangerous for the whole world. New escalation of political extremism and organized terror flooded the region which is imperative for the stability of the world. Taking of hostages, death of civilians, bombing attacks of the cities represent the incomplete list of dramatic events that cause indignation and disquietude.
Everything started with kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and strafing attacks of Israeli cities from the territory of sovereign state of Lebanon. Lebanese government ignored the resolution of United Nations Council on disarming of terrorist group “Hezbollah”, and, thereby, this government is responsible for all actions of this bandit organization and other groups functioning in the territory of Lebanon. Thanks God, Israel is able to protect its nationhood and its citizens! Nikolaev Regional Jewish Community supports the actions of Israel in respect of complete disarming of terrorist group “Hezbollah” functioning in the territory of Lebanon and insists on moving of illegal military units off the borders of Israel. Moreover, the community condemns the governments that support or sponsor the terrorists.
The Meeting in support of Israel
On July 31 in Nikolaev Jewish Community the meeting in support of Israel in it’s fight against terrorism was held. On that evening the people from Nikolaev and Nikolaev Region, Jews and representatives of other nations, those who cannot remain indifferent to the events at the Middle East, gathered together. During this meeting everyone present could get an answer to live questions and support the government and people of Israel who are on the front line of the fight against terrorism. With this purpose Community invited Consul of Israel Lev Kurits, who reported on the real situation at the Middle East. The public speaking was held in the form of dialogue of Consul with the guests who could ask any questions and get competent answers.
The meeting in support of Israel in it’s fight against terrorism culminated with the prayer and collective appeal to the Embassy of Israel.
Ohr Avner School Teachers Convene at Education Seminar
This week, the Ohr Menachem Jewish school in Nikolayev hosted a seminar for teachers of the Jewish Schools Network run by the International Ohr Avner Foundation. Educators from 25 cities across the former Soviet Union participated in this seminar.
The themes discussed — Integration of basic school subjects with Jewish subjects, Problems of science and religion — are very pressing topics both in the Ukraine and other CIS countries. Next year, new school subjects, Ethics of Belief and the Study of Religions, will be introduced in state-operated schools of the Ukraine and other CIS members. The Ohr Menachem School has wide experience in teaching these subjects.
Guest lecturers included the advisor on matters of education of the Ohr Avner Foundation Dr. Reuven Mamo, the Foundation’s advisor Rabbi Gross and Director of the Jewish Agency in South Ukraine Mr. Lembritsky.
The program included lectures, practical class-modeling studies and open classes with 7th- and 9th-graders of the Ohr Menachem School. In addition, the participants attended a book exhibit arranged through the efforts of the school’s teaching staff. The brochures presented at this exhibit highlight the priorities of the teachers’ work aimed at introducing the main ideas of the national program “Education of the 21st century.” The titles of these books are “Fostering Tolerance and Moral Virtues,” “Fostering Jewish Self-Identity at Russian Language Classes,” “Children’s View of the Adult World.”
Jewish Community Promotes Team Spirit
The “Ohr Menachem” Day School of Nikolayev hosted the seminar “Working as a Team”, which targeted staff from the various organizations run by the local Jewish community. Apart from involving the Director and Head of Staff at “Ohr Menachem” and the Director of the “Chaya Mushka” Kindergarten, this event also engaged Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb, the Chief Editor of the “Yachad” Newspaper, and other community workers. Guest lecturers for the day included Svetlana Lukina, the Coordinator of the JDC’s branch in Odessa, and Andrei Zhuravsky, a psychologist and lecturer at both the Odessa Medical and Pedagogic Universities.
After the opening speech by Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb, participants listened to a talk by Svetlana Lukina, who shared the JDC’s experience of running humanitarian programs in southern Ukraine.
During the discussion, attendees shaped the goals and ideas for the future development of the Nikolayev Jewish community. After a delicious kosher lunch, Andrei Zhuravsky’s lectures addressed communicative ties and types of interaction between people. He proceeded to work with the groups to enhance interaction between the community workers. Participants spoke about the problems associated with their fields, sought to find solutions to the most pressing psychological issues, as well as drawing up a plan to attract new community members to participate in the approaching Passover celebration.
A round-table discussion concluded this six-hour seminar, determining the results of the day’s work. No doubt, each participant gained something useful. Some considered the psychological types of human interaction and rich experience of their colleagues. Yet others were able to identify the missing links in their work. The important thing is that such meetings succeed in helping workers to become a tighter team working toward a collective goal — the betterment of the Jewish community.
Nikolayev Jewish School Featured at Exhibition
Residents of the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev now have the chance to learn more about the “Ohr Menachem” Day School, the city’s only Jewish institution of its kind, thanks to the school’s participation in the “Osvita” Educational Exhibition. This event takes place on an annual basis and features displays and booths that are both informative and entertaining for visitors to the convention.
This year, the event is taking place in the largest exhibition hall of Nikolayev. It features both state and non-state schools, colleges and institutions of higher education with various levels of accreditation.
The several stands presented by the Jewish day school featured the best work of its students, including paintings, photographs and home videos. Guests also had the chance to see the diplomas and awards received by the school’s brightest pupils in various local, regional and national competitions, as well as having the opportunity to ask any questions or consult with the teaching staff.
The “Ohr Menachem”, which runs as part of the Ohr Avner Chabad educational network operating across the Former Soviet Union, looked very well among the many participating institutions and succeeded in raising genuine interest among attendees.
Nikolayev Mayor, Governor Join in Public Candle-Lighting Ceremony
Jews of Nikolayev celebrated Chanukah on the central streets of the city. On December 26th, Mayor Vladimir Chaika and the region’s Governor Alexander Sadykov joined local Jews for this festivity, where they extended congratulations to Jews of the Nikolayev Region. Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb, the region’s Chief Rabbi and a Chabad Lubavitch emissary, also gave a festive address to the crowd, talking about the immense power of light over darkness and the historic events that led to Chanukah becoming a national and religious holiday for the Jewish people.
The celebration was met with a strong turnout, with a multitude of Jews, their guests and numerous passers-by gathered at this site to witness a public candle-lighting ceremony. Everyone gathered around the Menorah, which stands seven meters tall and is located by the “Ilyicha” movie theater, making it a site that one can not help but see, even from a distance. One new candle will be lit for every day of the eight-day festivity, to recall the Miracle of Chanukah.
To participants’ great pleasure, the Boys’ Choir run by the “Ohr Menachem” Day School delivered a wonderful performance that ended just in time for a show of fireworks to begin.
This year’s celebration is the second-ever public Chanukah candle-lighting to take place in Nikolayev. Prior to that, all Chanukah events were held exclusively for community members, taking place inside a building. “The blessing brought by Chanukah is not only for Jews, but for everyone, for the light of Chanukah brings peace and kindness to all of humanity,” expressed Rabbi Gottlieb.
Leading the way among community and national organizations in this city of 514,000, the Jewish community of Nikolayev is a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.
In Ukraine, Jews Welcome First Day of Chanukah
Jews of the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev celebrated the first day of Chanukah with a festive concert open to all members of the local Jewish community and many other guests. Among the many renowned personalities in attendance, Nikolayev Mayor Vladimir Chaika and the region’s Governor, Alexander Sadykov, also participated in the festivity. The local Jewish community presented the two top officials a Menorah as a symbol of friendship with the Jewish people.
Guests enjoyed a number of interesting performances by the Jewish Boys’ Choir, dance ensemble organized by the “Ohr Menachem” Day School, as well as a charming show put on by fosterlings of the “Chaya Mushka” Kindergarten. Members of the audience also enjoyed the premiere performance by the Puppet Theater, which was just recently launched by the Jewish day school. In all instances, the youngsters demonstrated high spirits and excellent artistic skills.
Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb, the Chief Rabbi of Nikolayev Region and a Chabad Lubavitch emissary, lit the first candle of Chanukah, extended congratulations, and explained the history and significance of the Holiday of Light and Miracles.
Earlier that day, local Jews attended the inauguration of the photo contest “Light Your Chanukah Menorah”. Everyone is welcome to participate in this competition by sending a photograph featuring a candle-lighting they have witnessed. While all participants are guaranteed to receive a prize, the top award remains a secret. The contest results will be finalized during the school’s final Chanukah Party, scheduled on December 28th in the Ohr Menachem School, just before the youngsters embark on their winter break.
Nikolayev Jewish School Holds Family Event
The “Ohr Menachem” Day School of Nikolayev held a meeting that was targeted at the parents of children attending the first grade at this institution.
During the gathering, entitled “The Spring Marathon”, the first-graders showed their parents many of the things that they have been studying during their lessons — writing, reading, counting, logical thinking and the performing arts. The tots coped with the numerous tasks set out before them and performed several humorous skits.
This intimate audience met their performance with great enthusiasm and pride in their children’s achievements. They also expressed great satisfaction in witnessing how quickly their children have been developing under the guidance of the school’s teachers.
The “Ohr Menachem” Day School operates as a part of an FSU-wide educational network, supported by the Ohr Avner Foundation, headed by FJC President Lev Leviev.
Puppet Show at Nikolayev Jewish Educational Complex
The “Ohr Menachem” Day School of Nikolayev hosted a number of visitors that had the children in thrills. The guests were actors from the city’s Puppet Theater, who came to the school to introduce the children their premiere show of the tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.
Children from the “Chaya Mushka” Kindergarten and students of the school’s elementary grades enjoyed this show. They were happy to be part of this event, which constituted an amusing interactive dialogue between the puppet characters and the youngsters.
The “Ohr Menachem” Day School and the “Chaya Mushka” Kindergarten both belong to the Ohr Avner Chabad educational network which extends across the countries of the Former Soviet Union and is supported by FJC President Lev Leviev.
Film Project Highlights Nikolayev Jewish Community
The Jewish community of Nikolayev hosted a visit by renowned Israeli documentary film-maker Igal Goren and his colleague, cameraman Neker Sla. The two professionals decided that they should visit this Ukrainian city in order to work on their newest project, which aims to profile the life of Jewish communities in the Former Soviet Union.
Their tour of Nikolayev was sponsored by the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, headed by renowned philanthropist Lev Leviev.
During their stay, the filmmaker and his entourage visited the “Chaya Mushka” Jewish Kindergarten and the “Ohr Menachem” Day School, where they enjoyed an excursion of the building and took the time to get acquainted with schoolchildren. The youngsters had prepared a special cultural program, which they presented to the guests.
The overall result of the call was that the Israeli travelers were very pleased by what they saw in the Jewish community and the city of Nikolayev itself and felt it to be useful material for their film.
Seminar for youth
Youth seminar “Ukraine-Byelorussia” was held in Mykolayiv from the 25th to the 27th of July. It was dedicated to “Alives’ March” — a trip about the Polish cities and towns. The seminar is annually organized by the member of Knesset from Israel.
During the first day there was a meeting between Ukrainian and Byelorus youth. After a long trip all the participants of the march were warmly met by school “Or Menahem” as well as by organizers of this event Maryna Kislovskaya and Sholom Gottlib. There was an excursion around the school and all the present were pleased by the building and its interior: gymnasium, chemist’s laboratory, computer science room. The meeting started with the report of Sholom Gottlieb — rabbi of the Mykolayiv Jewish Community. That warm evening children talked about the trip to Poland, they shared their impressions, feelings, ideas. They will always keep in mind the shoe heap in Mydanek; the children’s room containing the list of those children who died in the concentration camp.
A. Podolskiy and Y. Praysman were invited to give a number of lectures. The told about the life of Jewish people in the post-war period and about Jewish communities in the East and West of Europe. The story about Kholokost in Ukraine generated a great interest.
A. Kinah Official Visit to Israel
The first vice-minister of Ukraine A. Kinah paid an official visit to Israel where he had a meeting with the President of Federation of Jewish communities Levi Levaev. The chief ravvin of Ukraine Ozrial Haikin also participated in the meeting. The Ukrainian delegation had a chance to communicate with the representatives of the government, leading politicians and businessmen of Israel.
Development of Jewish life in Ukraine; further co-operation between the Ukrainian and Israel people especially in the sphere of transport and bank affairs — all these questions were the focus of the meeting’s attention.
A. Kinah emphasized that it would be extremely important to create effective mechanisms based on the scientific, industrial and natural potential taking into account that Israel is one of the leading countries in the field of high technologies, bio-technologies, genetic engineering, machine building etc. There are really unique possibilities here.
Celebrating Tu B’Shevat
On January the 25th at “Haya-Mushka” kindergarten children and adults celebrated Tu B’Shevat — Trees’ New Year. Parents and kids of school “Or-Menachem” were also invited to the party. They sang and read poems about the holiday. For all the guests teachers prepared competitions with prizes and fares.
Rabbi Gottlieb at Mayor’s State Reception
On January, the 2nd the Head Rabbi of Nikolaev and region Sholom Gottlieb was invited to the state reception held by the Mayor of Nikolaev Vladimir Chayka. The reception was dedicated to New Year celebration and Day of Nikolaev Flag. Rabbi and Mayor wished each other a good year, happiness and health.