The first bus AJTour “Jewish Russia”, which included significant places from Jewish history, ended in Russia. This project was supported by the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund.
40 participants of the Jewish teenage clubs “Active Jewish Teens” (AJT) international network aged 13-17 took part in the guided tour. During these five days, they visited cities with small and big Jewish communities: Rzhev, Velikiye Luki, Nevel, Smolensk, Lyubavichi, Bryansk, Tula, Moscow.
“Modern teenagers know very little about the Jewish history of their country, city and community. Therefore, such a tour gave them a great opportunity to get familiar with it (history), strengthened their sense of belonging to the community and their people,” – said AJT coordinator Ilia Emaev.
On each of the routes, the participants were met not only by a guide, who told them the Jewish history of the city, but also by the members of the community. For example, the guys learned that the Jewish history of Tula began with the arrival of the first group of Jewish recruits at the local ordnance factory. And Smolensk region is known among the Jews from all over the world as the birthplace of Chabad – the best-known Hasidic movement.
We started our journey from small towns and communities with an impressive Jewish history. We ended up in cities where the Jewish community is big and fast-growth. I really liked it. I received a lot of interesting information that will be useful in the future, met a lot of people and visited new cities, which I probably would not have visited, because I did not know about them,”- one of the tour participants said.
In total, the children from 12 Russian cities took part in the project.