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May 22, 1998     Jewish News
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May 22, 1998

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20 • S d bS°utheasternidgVirginia JewishileNeWs ith h May 22,g1998 Ruflfila, U. . fitu entfl r e m fi w new exc an e By Rebecca Segall their parents; and it seemed that 'Sometimes we do get a little Weiner, an American who made otherwise are very hard to reach they were hungry for a modern, family support. My very secular aliyah to Israel and now heads from Moscow," he said. NEW YORK, (JTA) - It was intellectual type of religiosity, grandmother was excited about special projects at the Moscow Amir Shaviv, JDC s assistant hard to imagine tbat the two sets In one instance, all but one of the Pesach seder this year." office of the JDC. executive vice president for spe- of students - talking face to face - the students from the Conserva- Most of the American stu- Video conferencing will help cial operations, said after observ- were thousands of miles apart, tive movement's rabbinical semi- dents in the room devote their American Jews better understand ing the exchange in New York: Looking at each other on a big nary agreed that they were raised lives to Jewish causes - many of the complexities and nuances of "The students in Moscow were television screen, a dozen Jewish in homes where Judaism was them to helping Russian Jews. the Russian Jewish experience, exposed to a group of future rab- Russian university students in 'important." As the camera was turned off he said. bis, men and women, from plu- Moscow and twice as many Jew- ish Theological Seminary stu- dents in New York City shared illuminating anecdotes. The video-conference conver- sation - albeit focused on the uniqueness of Jewish identity in Russia - was marked by unex- pected similarities: Almost all of the students shared the experience of being more religiously identified than The Russians laughed. "Our families think we're crazy for talking about mitzvot (commandments) and our Jewish roots," said Anna Neistat, the Moscow moderator who is a graduate of Project Judaica - a joint academic venture of JTS, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York and the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. But smiles spread throughout the room in New York as well. "My parents think I'm crazy, too," whispered a student of Jew- ish education at JTS. But it was evident that for the Russians, the phenomenon of Jewish renewal is more intense. "My husband and I try to keep mitzvot like kashrut," said Anya Sorokina, a fourth-year student of Project Judaica in Moscow. IinInnt/ Mortgage Solutions You Can Afford! Laura I. Kesser Branch Manager Mnhon, Allen & Williams Corporation Mortgage Banking Reflection lII, Suite 425, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 " Toll Free (888) 463-3321 Bus: (757) 463-8100 V/M: (757) 552-2050 Digltah (757) 456-4227 Fax: (757) 631-8708 Iinn Southem Trust Mortgage • Are you tired of talking to a recording, not a person, when you call about a home loan? • Would you rather deal with a banker who not only lends in your community but also lives in it? • Do you want the lowest rates and points available in the market? Thon call Southern Trust Mortgage. We process, underwrite, and close... right here in Hampton Roadsl Rates are at Historic Lows! Now is the time to buy or refinance.  ,t tlnmmmd h OaUllalt,ff m ¸ J: I I III "Your way Home" Call 518.0700 after an hour of dialogue, the American students kvelled at how inspiring the discussion was. The same was true in Moscow. The video conference pro- gram - this was the third such exchange - is sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribu- tion Committee and JTS. People in the United States "know virtually nothing about the social and academic Jewish reality" in Russia, said Eugene For the Russians, the confer- ence represents unprecedented opportunities to connect with the Jewish academic and religious world, he said. "We could have interactive video seminars on holidays and classical Jewish texts," said Weiner, a Conservative rabbi who was one of the catalysts behind the video conferencing project. "This medium can be used to hold seminars with people who Docent Terry Sarfan takes 3rd grade class of Hebrew Acedemy of Tidewater through the Damascus Gate ralistic backgrounds and different upbringings. That is a significant message." In Moscow, Neistat said to the JTS students as she closed the session, "We hope you come here to Moscow, and continue to teach us, and we hope you get something from us, too." (JTA correspondent Lev Krichevsky in Moscow contributed to this report.) Jerusalem CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 on interactive manner." Ms. Lan- dres was assisted by 28 volunteer docents who gave of their time to take groups on tours of the gates, and enriched the learning experi- ence of those who attended the three week exhibit. The people who toured were able to write a prayer and place it in the wall of the Kotel, touch some of the artifacts and learn about archaeological digs and see the art and literature from the area. A favorite stop was the shuk, or marketplace. There people got to see products found in the USA in their Hebrew packaging, as well as some native clothing and head cov- erings. Additionally, the children were able to make a hamsa, a mizrah, or a mosaic to take home with the The Hrginian-PtTot provided on- line experience for the students and adults who went through the exhibit. Through the Pilot On//ne project, stu- dents were able to access the intemet and fnd but what was going on in Israel through various websites. j Children creating s mosaic in the Lion's Gate Our Home Health Care professionals may be the answer for you. With one easy phone call, we can arrange for the following: • Skilled Nursing Services • Certified Nurses Aides • Personal Care • Care Consultation • Case Management • • Quality of Life Program • Medical Equipment & Supplies • Physical, Speech & Occupational Therapy Jewish Family Service Home Health & Hospice Care Call us st 489-3111! KALICO CONSTRUCTION CORP. 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