More than a thousand Jewish students from all over the FSU are currently visiting places related to the history of Jewish communities in Europe. The trip, organized by YAHAD, Youth FJC’s programming platform, comes as a culmination of a year-long Jewish studies program EuroStars, which the students began in September.
The group will visit sites connected with the history of the Jews of Europe in the Middle Ages and Modernity. In total, more than 1,000 young people from 45 cities in 8 FSU countries – Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Russia will take part in the trip.
The youth delegation will be accompanied by the region’s Jewish community leaders and joined by representatives of Europe’s Jewish communities as well. This is the fifth consecutive year the EuroStars trip is taking place, and the number of participants grows every year.
“The trip is dedicated to the history of Jewish communities in Europe. It is designed to broaden the youth’s view of the culture of the Jewish people and to strengthen the relationship with its traditions,” said Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar about the coming journey.
“Students will visit cities that once were centers of Jewish life, visit ancient synagogues and Jewish quarters, learn about the “golden age” of the Jews of Spain, subsequent persecutions and exile, historical premises and central events of the Inquisition and resettlement in Eastern Europe and North Africa.”
Among the cities included in the tour program are Barcelona, Sardinia, Nice, Monaco and Milan. The group will also meet with regional political leaders and prominent public figures.
One of the key moments of the trip will be the ceremony of completing the writing of the Torah scroll in Monaco. Each student will have the opportunity to write one or more letters into the scroll. The event is planned to be attended by the heads of the country’s administration.
The final stage of the trip will be a visit to Poland, where the students will commemorate the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Second World War and make meaningful connections to their past, present and future in a specially prepared program.