Last week, Kiev Hillel sponsored an event for Good Deeds Day – an appeal to Ukrainian citizens to go beyond thoughts to actual actions and dedicate March 16th to making this world a better place. A kick-off party was held, hosting prominent members from the Jewish community, the wider Ukrainian public, celebrities and politicos. Guests included Zina Kalai-Klaitman, Israel’s Ambassador in the Ukraine and Mykhaylo Kulynyak, the Ukrainian governments’ Culture and Tourism Minister.
The event featured a long rope where every guest was able to tie a ribbon with their name written on it. The ribbons symbolize their good deeds or, alternatively, the good deeds that those people benefited from and would like to recall. The Hillel team tied ribbons on behalf of those who submitted their good deeds by email. The rope along with all the “good deeds ribbons” will be hand delivered to Israel where it will be brought to three major religious sites – the Kotel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to Hillel’s Darina (Dasha) Privalko, “We at Hillel decided to join this fabulous initiative as we see it as a great idea to appeal to the best in everyone and provide tangible assistance to those in need. Hillels in Ukraine and beyond dedicate a lot of attention to various Tzedek projects, volunteering at local Jewish communities, Day Centers, orphanages, soup kitchens, at cemeteries cleaning, etc. At that we feel that this Day may have more profound impact on the society as a whole and also help Hillel to contribute into shaping of positive image of Jews, as this initiative stems from Israel and arrives to Ukraine via Jewish student organization.”
The event was promoted through social media and immediately went viral in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia with Google showing some 4300 links beforehand and live television coverage that evening.
images: top – Olga Sumska, People’s actress of Ukraine (the highest Ukrainian award in recognition of contribution and achievements in arts and culture); lower – Zina Kalai-Klaitman and Mykhaylo Kulynyak