Friday, December 7, 2007


This Hannukah, the entire city of Minsk is alight with Hannukah festivals. The holiday was kicked off on the first night with Chabad’s Hannukah play performed by the Or Avner school, followed by a concert featuring Minsk’s newest Jewish band “Shalom.” The second night brought crowds to the Israel Cultural Center’s concert presenting new-age Israeli artists Aloni Daniel and Mikhael Meirzona. But that wasn’t all for night number two; Minsk’s latest hangout for young Jews, Moishe House, headed by Aliyah Phillips and Natasha Kirikovich and funded by the Forest Foundation in partnership with JDC, hosted a candle-lighting after-party abundant with home-made draniki (Belarusian: latkes), and fresh sufganiot (Hebrew: jelly donuts). Night number three uncovered young talents at the Mazel Tov Hannukah play for pre-schoolers and their parents, and a holiday-themed Hesed concert, also led by Aliyitchka and her co-teacher, Tanya.

But it’s not over yet; Minsk’s Jews of all ages are waiting to see what the second half of the holiday will bring them. Today, JDC Minsk’s employees are getting ready for their office holiday party, to be led by JSC volunteers, Eritchka, Aliyitchka, and Sebastianchik. This weekend, students and university graduated are anxiously anticipating the Hillel Hannukah Shabbaton, where there will educational historical Hannukah content and of course, lots of fun. And of course, the holiday will be topped off this Sunday by a final festive concert organized by the JDC and Minsk Jewish Campus.

Photo 1: The holiday would certainly not be complete without the JCC-Emuna Kokhavim art studio for children's beautiful Hannukah-themed paintings decorating the campus.
Photo 2: Aliyichka hypnotizes Mazl Tov children...