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TRIP TO RIDDER

Representatives of the Jewish antifascist committee   A trip to Leninogorsk city (now it is called Ridder again) was planned on Sunday, October 5. It was rather a long way - 150 kilometers. We set out early. It was raining all day through. Everybody felt warm and comfortable in the minibus; fascinating landscapes were seen out of the window. The purpose of the trip was to deliver food packages, find out about problems and needs of the community, socialize, and organize a lecture dedicated to the Jewish Antifascist Committee.

  Ridder city is surrounded by colorful forests that make one feel elated and sad at the same time. We came there at 12 as we promised to. The Director of Hesed "Faina" Vladimir Lebedev, coordinator of cultural programs Elena Levina, teacher of Hebrew Natasha Lebedeva were there not for the first time. They introduced me, a volunteer and a lecturer, to community members. We talked about the community and Lena Levina told news of the Hesed in Ust-Kamenogorsk and about the tour of our "Seven Forty" theatre. The Jews of Ridder city were eager to watch the "Severed Branch" play. It would be fine if we arrange the trip of community members to Ust-Kamenogorsk to watch the performance. It is not easy, but hopefully we can make it. It would be great!

  Then it was time for the lecture. The story about the way Stalin's regime destroyed the Jewish Antifascist Committee 50 years ago made everybody bow sorrowfully. Famous names of Solomon Michoels (great actor, "Jew number one"), Polina Zhemtchuzhnaya and other members of the Committee were called. 13 of them were shot, great many died in prison. Now their sparkling eyes are looking at us from the cover of "Lehaim" magazine. Poets, writers, actors, doctors, journalists, will remain in the memory of the Jewish people forever.

  After the lecture we again discussed today's issues and Israel. Every Jew, wherever he lives, cares about his motherland. Then we had tea and began giving out food packages. The day was almost over and we had to go back. Though it was still raining, we felt warm and easy. Close touch with the history inspired people and gave them strength to work further. Thank you, my people and my Community!

Fanya Suponitskaya

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