Friday, December 29, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Thanks to Kseniya Sosnovskaya, the only grant-writer in Belarus and the Queen of the Resource Center of the Minsk Jewish Campus, the Jews of Belarus were able to eat sufganiyot, or jelly donuts, this Hanukkah. Using her exceptional fact-finding skills, Kseniya honed in on the only store in Minsk which kept a "shpritz," or injector, in stock. It was a true wild-goose chase at first, but 5 stores, 15 lines, and 4 hours later, Eritchka and Kseniya left the department store with shpritz in hand.
Although she had never made even one sufganiya before, Eritchka could not say no to her Israeli boss when he requested her to make sufganiyot for the 40 JDC Staff members attending the JDC Minsk Hanukkah party. On Hanukkah, Belarusian Jews eat donuts called poinchiki, which is simply a plain, jellyless donut, unheard of to both American and Israeli Jews.
Now, Hanukkah is all about extending limited resources. Just as the little bit of oil lasted 8 full days, so too this Hanukkah in Minsk did 2 such miracles occur: 1) Kseniya found a shpritz in Minsk and 2) One piece of dough inexplicably became 56 sufganiyot. Another supernatural wonder of this Hanukkah was that all 56 miraculously disappeared by the end of the party. Only the Holy One, Blessed Be He, and possibly Yoni Leifer can understand how or why.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
And pretty maids all in a row?
but blue spots with a stinky smell.
And wretch it made me want to go.
Monday, December 4, 2006
To create a real atmosphere of competition, players had to gamble with “Ofek Money.” The unlucky gamblers could buy only a cup of juice with their Ofek dollars. The lucky ones, however, had the photo opportunity of a lifetime—to take a picture with the most famous piece of Jewish literature of all time, the 10 Commandments, held by the modern Belarusian Moses. Adorned in red fabric and wearing a red wig and a sparkling gold hat, Eritchka looked like a Moses who would star in a Jewish “La Cage aux Folles.”
Nonetheless, participants in the casino night lined up to take pictures with this strange-looking character holding a Russian version of the Tablets. By the end of the night, Eritchka, acting in the benevolent way of God’s favorite prophet, even took pictures with those who had played away all of their money.
This was the 10th annual Ofek Literary Festival. The Festival was a collaborative event organized by the JCC, the Union of Belarusian Jewish Communities, Israel Cultural Center, and the Joint Distribution Committee.
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Leonid Levin mediated the discussion and invited each religious representative to share his thoughts. Each leader agreed on the importance of promoting religious tolerance to young Belarusians, and was eager to collaborate. Participants in the roundtable agreed that it was important for the different religions to come together as a regular committee. Through this committee, they will keep one another updated on religious issues and collaborate in creating programs and seminars promoting tolerance.