Following on from the success of last year’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah twinning project with Vilnius, Lithuania, ORT UK in partnership with Muswell Hill Synagogue, are thrilled to have launched their second annual twinning programme – this time with Kiev!
11 children from the Muswell Hill community have been matched with Ukranian students from the Kiev ORT Educational Complex #141 and the ORT Simcha School, for a year-long journey of discovery and learning. Throughout the programme, both sets of children will connect and build friendships through email and skype.
Over the course of the year, the children will learn about their Jewish heritage, migration and history, as well as taking part in social action and fundraising projects. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on and further develop their own sense of Jewish identity and deepen their connection to Judaism in a meaningful and interactive way, as they prepare to enter adulthood and become Bnei Mitzvot.
Some of these children, along with their parents, will even have the opportunity to visit Kiev next spring, along with Rabbi Mason and representatives from ORT UK.
The trip will be an opportunity to connect with the Jewish community in Kiev and see the impact of ORT’s work in the region. The families will also spend time visiting places of interest in this historic area, as well as sharing many spiritual moments, such as a communal Friday night service and Havdalah with the Kiev families. There will be a focus on celebrating Jewish life, whilst taking time to remember and reflect on those lives that were lost during the Holocaust, especially at Babi Yar.
Zoe Ornstein, a parent from last year’s trip to Vilnius said:
“We both learnt a lot of history from it and (my daughter) Anouska felt she’d accomplished something deeper and more significant in her Jewish identity, as she came of age. Her Bat Mitzvah became about a lot more than parties, presents and learning to leyn/ write a Dvar Torah.”