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The “Heritage” program inspires a special interest among Hillel students. The scope of the program is to help to revive the Jewish spirit in Moldova.
Today, the culture of the Jewish shtettles, which for centuries were the basis of the Jewish consciousness, are fading into the past. People who formerly carried that spirit are passing away, and most of youth live in cities where they do not have a chance to learn about their history and ancestors.
Since its start in 2004 the “Heritage” program has involved almost 100 students who have visited dozens of villages and towns where material traces of the Jewish life – former synagogues, cemeteries, monuments – are kept. Hillel participants take photos, get acquainted with people who still live there, and may tell about the lives that churned there 50 or 60 years ago. Besides tours outside Kishinev, the program includes lectures, trainings, discussions, games, and meetings.
Beginning in April 2006, the “Heritage” program has been developing joint programs with “Tolerance” project at KJJC aimed at developing understanding by teenagers of various nationalities between the cultures of other people.
“The fate of our peoples had a common past,” said Robert, one of the city of Soroca's Gypsy community leaders. “We always supported very warm and nice relations with the local Jews and community. We are happy to meet young people from Kishinev who are eager to learn about history. It is very important. One who does not remember his past... has no future!”
“It is a very important and cognitive project. It was my first time in Moldova and knew nothing about its culture and history,” said David Goodberg, USA. “I would like to learn more about people and languages to communicate with people. Respect and tolerance between people is one of the most important things for society.”
Viktor Kupershlak, “Heritage” program coordinator, explains: “Our idea is to involve as many young people as possible to get to know their people’s past and present, to struggle with stereotypes. We see a good and perspective future in this program that serves as an intergenerational bridge and helps to keep our traditions and memory.”