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Farewell to Moldova by Max Daniel, JDC ENTWINE Volunteer

After nine months of working with and living among the Jewish communities in Moldova, I am sad to leave the place and people that have been like a second home and family to me, and I will miss this city and country. But as I think about my time here, I look back with pleasure and joy.
Supported by the local and international JDC branches, I spent most of my time at JCC KEDEM, working with them and the different organizations located here. My weekly Hesed English classes, with its wonderful group of elderly students, taught me more than I taught them. Their excitement and enthusiasm made the class a highlight of my week. I also spent time with the youth club Haverim and helped them practice English and learn about American culture, and I got to know the young Jewish leaders here in Kishinev. I also enjoyed working with ICTPD, teaching English and business classes, developing classroom workbooks, as well as helping with various Jewish educational and holiday programming. Through the museum, I was also able to teach a few classes on Yiddish language and culture and explore the rich and deep heritage and intellectual legacy of Bessarabian Jewry. It was a great pleasure getting to know my colleagues from all the different groups, as well as my students, and I learned a lot about life in Moldova today.
Aside from work, I participated in local Jewish life and events, and I felt like part of the community. By meeting people from Chabad, the Jewish schools, the Jewish Agency, Moishe House, and elsewhere, I got to see the wide variety of the vibrant Jewish life in this city. I met people who are committed to seeing a lively and active present and future for Jews in Moldova, despite difficult circumstances, and work tirelessly toward their vision. I wish all my friends here great success and happiness in the future, and I look forward to visiting again sometime soon!”
We also wish Max successes in his personal and professional development, a long, vibrant and interesting life and thank him for all the good deeds and ideas he succeeded to realize while staying with us at the KJJC.

New Connections Overseas

During March 11-12 JCC KEDEM received an interesting and very nice guest’s visit. Kayla Green, a third-year law student at the University of Pennsylvania came to Moldova with a group of colleagues who gave a series of presentations in various towns and settlements of the country on topics connected with Immigration issues. But Kayla had a special mission during the visit.
“As an American Jew with Bessarabian roots, my visit to the JCC Kedem was both a homecoming and a history lesson. I was struck by the hospitality of the JCC staff as well as the institutionalized knowledge of local Jewish life throughout history”, she said.
Kayla gave three additional presentations at two Jewish lyceums of Chisinau and one at the KJJC for IRIM university students. This meeting was organized thanks to efforts of the Center of Training of the KJJC. 
Kayla graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Tulane University with a degree in Judaic Studies, having completed a thesis on global comparative Holocaust portrayal. Last year, Kayla was an Associate Editor on the Journal of International Law, President of the Jewish Law Student Association, and Director of the International Human Rights Advocates. Kayla spent her fall semester at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. She received the Salzburg Cutler Fellowship for her essay, “Illuminating the Black Hole: An Analysis on the Impact of Red Cross Inaction during the Holocaust on its current Approach to Humanitarian Action” which seeks to evaluate the impact of the ICRC’s regret for its moral failure during the Holocaust on its current approach to humanitarian action. 

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Meeting with Netanyahu at the KJJC

On Nov. 28 a special guest came to the KJJC. It was Iddo Netanyahu, Israeli physician, playwright and younger brother of the Prime-Minister of Israel. Of course, the meeting attracted a lot of people. Michael Finckel, who led the meeting, asked Iddo about the history of his family, his creative plans, impressions of Moldova, personal political and social thoughts about present and future of the State of Israel. Also people from the audience got the chance to ask questions. There many some about “Happy End” play that Iddo brought to Chisinau theatre festival, destiny of Yiddish culture and language, his preferences in literature, etc.
Iddo Netanyahu showed himself as a very intelligent, mild and deep personality who very politely but firmly expressed his position and views. In the end Stella Harmelina thanked Iddo for his time and meeting and granted a symbolic gift on behalf of the JCC KEDEM and Jews of Moldova.

Cultural Partnership: We can do a Lot!

On May 27 by initiative of the JCC KEDEM a meeting with the main partners of the JCC took place. Such kind of forum took place for the first time gathering about 25 people representing at once Moldova state official structures (Ministry of Culture, Union of Composers, National Philharmonic, Municipal Dpt. of Education, Youth and Sports), foreign diplomatic missions (eight embassies were present), international NGOs (Peace Corps, JDC, UNESCO), business community (“Hendrix-Bail” company): 
Stella Harmelina, JCC Director, and Michael Finckel, JCC manager in finances and administration greeted the audience and told about the most successful experience in realizations joint projects of the last years. This impressive list included musical competition named after Zlata Tkach, concerts and festivals, Holocaust memorial programs, cycle of programs dedicated to Kishinev pogrom in 2013, Tolerance club activities and Museum projects.

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