Youth club KhCF “Hesed Besht”

Youth club of Khmelnytskyy considers February the 1st to be its birthday. Till that time the teens program had been working under Khmelnytskyy charitable fund “Hesed Besht” since the day it was founded – 1999. Working with teens has always been important for the organization, but during a long time adults have been caring for the kids without overestimation of teens’ potential. This age was considered as the intermediate period between the childhood and the adult life or active participation in community’s life that didn’t help teens fulfill themselves.

But in 2013 under the auspices and methodical instructions of responsible management of Jewish Distribution Committee “Joint” the youth of Khmelnytskyy got necessary rights and authority and a new period in the development of the youth started - they transformed in a real youth club.

There is still no official name for it, though kids proudly use the “working” name “Beshtiki” that comes from the trivial fund’s name what named after Baal Shem Tov. Young community participants want to commemorate a famous, and even legendary countryman the founder of Chasadism a healer and a saint man Israel ben Eliezer, that has been buried in 32 km from Khmelnystkyy in a small town of Medzhibozh. The club has its own symbolic, it keeps in touch with a youth club “Abird Zis” from Kametets-Podolskiy city.

For the moment club has 32 participants only in Khmelnitskyy city. And when some of them are not very active, there are a lot of activists who love life, respect themselves and the others. But all of them are growing as real Jews.

Officially the club meets every Thursday, it takes place in a Community Center “Tchiya” of Khmelnitskyy charitable fund “Hesed Besht” – str Kamenetskaya 58/1. But in real life the club is being attended by whoever and wherever, because here you can always meet a friend, a like-minded person and a sworn brother.

2014 was very active and efficient: kids learnt leadership, the basis of management that were simply called “organization skills”, they were plating games and of course they were studying Jewish culture and traditions. It wasn’t an easy task: in less than a year we had to prepare counselors that are able to lead growing generation of community members after them. And the result was 100% successful due to kids’ previous preparation and their eagerness to participate in the community life.

Now teens-youth club is the most energetic part of structure of Fund. Its events are always organized by its participants and counselors of KCF “Hesed Besht” just are dealing with minor tasks such as logistics, fundraising, tutoring and informal education. That’s right, and it’s happening because children are the ones who think of events’ filling, realization of micro-projects, their planning and do many other tasks. Their goal is to create secure basis of Jewish community, which means that the task of others is to provide kids with all the possible tools.

Since 2015 the club constantly organize various events and activities that strengthen the community. Here are the ideas of Ukrainian volunteer network “Community” and all the kids of appropriate age are volunteering, and the ones who are yet too young to volunteer are learning and copying what other do.

The first half of 2015 was full of vivid and faerie parties, where the teens were increasing their organization skills. There was also a hiking tour in the forest where kids were learning to survive and at the same time to protect the nature. But the favorite thing is of course gathering at Shabbat meetings and Avdalah on Saturdays. Growing generation is actively involving even younger community participants. Here everybody knows that after they leave there should another Jewish generation as good as the previous one.


Address: 29008, Ukraine, Khmelnitskyy, str. Kamenetskaya 58/1


The head: Nagnibida Slava