Thanks to you, Proud to be Jewish in FSU

Categories: Former Soviet Union, Homepage News


MEET MARIELLA

“At another school, it was not comfortable to be Jewish. I’m really happy I’m in this school – now I know who I am,” says Mariella, 12, a student in the Moscow ORT Technology School.

In ORT Jewish day schools in the former Soviet Union, Jewish studies are a significant part of the curriculum.  They familiarize youth with their Jewish roots and culture, and acquaint their parents with Jewish heritage and traditions.

“We always knew we had Jewish roots, but in Soviet times, we never thought about observance of any Jewish traditions.  Everything changed when our daughter Arina entered the ORT Mishpachtenu School,” says Nastya Zabolotnikov in Kazan, Russia.

She describes the infusion of Jewish awareness into her family.  “The traditions of the Jewish people burst into our life!  We began to celebrate Shabbat and Hanukah, and the children enjoyed Sunday school at the synagogue.”

Nastya appreciates the ORT school. “Our daughters happily immerse themselves in the knowledge and traditions of the Jewish people.  What they gain will help us support the Jewish community of our city,” she says.

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