As the first in the series of the student-initiative “Creating Language,” students met with World War II veterans from the former Soviet Union to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As an impromptu surprise, the survivors brought personal keepsakes from the war: pictures, newspaper articles and letters, and the students listened with amazement as they shared their memories in Russian. They had the inimitable experiences of seeing Sophie’s 100 year old pictures of her family who all perished, and of reading Dina’s father’s love letters which he sent to her mother as they fled from Ukraine to the east. The students listened with great interest and asked many questions, and the veterans were enchanted by their attention.
After began the “Paint Date,” which included instruction on basic drawing and painting. The Veterans taught the students how to paint and helped them create a beautiful painting as a memento. The workshop was held in Russian and was attended by Israeli-Russian speaking students from Ben-Gurion University. “Creating Language” is a series of three workshops of learning crafts from Russian-speaking professionals (carpentry, fine arts, etc.)
The project is the brainchild of students in Masa Beikvot, who are seeking to create and opportunity for discourse and learning from the older, local, Russian-speaking community and believe that projects of this kind will contribute to enriching their connection back to the local Russian-speaking community.
Masa Beikvot is a yearlong program for Israeli Russian-speaking students which includes study sessions, student-led initiatives and the "Phoenix" journey following Jewish life in Eastern Europe, along with dozens of other students from the former Soviet Union.
In 2016-2017 Masa Beikvot includes 30 Russian-speaking Israeli students from Hillel Centres across Israel and is initiated and supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group