"Mitsva" Association
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7-12 October 2002, Almaty

  We are the community! We are the one people! And if somebody needs help, he will not be left alone. "All Jews are responsible for each other!".

  Community centers help Jews who live in the FSU not to forget this truth and many other things, such as religion, Tradition, culture. Community centers are sources of the Yiddishkait that slake our thirst for knowledge of such dear notions as Mitsva, Tzedakah, Shabbat. But the XXI century changes many things. Today children prefer to study Hebrew with the help of a computer, and their parents - to discuss works of famous Jewish writers in virtual seminars (and it is great!). Jewish communities of the FSU do not stand on the same place. Their striving to learn new things is the best evidence of their intellectual and spiritual power.

  But to help the complete development of the people, Community centers need funds. Stable material resources provide the work of circles, rest in family camps, celebration of Rosh-ha-Shannah, and utilization of new technologies. The only source of funding for noncommercial welfare organizations is donation. In this case JCC turn to fundraising.

  First four seminars for new JCC directors in the FSU were devoted to fundraising. Its first task in such organizations as Community centers is to provide the events socially important for the Diaspora.

  Fundraising, as a very effective means in the hands of the community staff, must not be treated superficially. It is time now to combine theory and practice. Irina Zaltsman, Galina Nachmanovich, Maya Liokumovich, Galina Chelokhsayeva, and Alexander Abramovich (the educators who conducted the seminar) managed to systematize all the knowledge and drew their own plan of work with potential donors. The most pleasant thing is that all these people are members of the Jewish community of Kazakhstan. Today they are a real team able and willing to continue this business. Obviously, our own school of fundraising is starting working in Almaty.

  The Torah and welfare, psychological approach to a sponsor, economical and legal aspects of fundraising, use of information technologies in the process of attracting funds - these and many other themes were discussed within the seminar. The organizers tried to look at the problem of financing JCC.

  - We were struck, - Irina Zaltsman says, - at Alexander Abramovich's research "TaNaH as an example of strategic planning". When this great man started demonstrating interconnection between qualities of Tzedakah, Jewish concept of welfare and fundraising, our team realized that there was no way back. The subject absorbed us. Showing its new facilities, it is getting more and more attractive. And the main thing is that fundraising is a real help to the community, and it means that everything we do is good for our people.

  The educators took into consideration various forms of donation. Thus, the participants of the seminar were able to project a decision onto their own Community centers.

  - Where can we find funds for creation of a community? Should we wait for support from far away Jews or do something ourselves? - shares Inessa Nosenko, the director of the Jewish Community center in Zaporozhye. - These issues are of vital importance today, that Jewish communities in the FSU are being revived. For example, we - Zaporozhye. We have existed for 13 years, and the community has considerably expanded. There are 10 thousand Jews in the city; we have two own schools, a kindergarten, Community center, Sokhnut, Ezra and other organizations.

  Of course, we try to do with it so far. As far as present economical and political conditions are concerned, "JDC" and other organizations help us. But with time, remembering about Jewish precepts, we have to learn to help weaker people. Seminar in Almaty shows us how to do it.

  Fundraising is not only the way of finding sources of finance, but also to prove that help is necessary. One of the best ways to demonstrate developments of the community is a computer presentation. Jessica Levin, an educator from Jerusalem, came to Almaty to teach JCC directors how to make presentations (see "Computer Presentation Is Our Friend and Assistant"). It proved that all the small things are very important in the process of making a presentation - background color, size of letters, position of illustrations. But if you do everything correct, your computer assistant will return the favor.

  The seminar is over and from now on the best training for JCC directors will be life itself. Belief in the future of the community will help them to cope with difficulties. And again the words come back: "All Jews are responsible for each other!" By fundraising you help your people!

Galina Goldberg

Maya Liokumovich's training
Maya Liokumovich's training
Fascinating lecture
Fascinating lecture
  Participants of the seminar
Participants of the seminar

Computer Presentation Is Our Friend and Assistant

  Regular visitors of the "mitsva.kz" used to frequent mentioning of computer presentations. Some of them might have already seen a presentation "Jewish National Organizations within Kazakhstan", placed on the main page of our web-site. It was the first harbinger in our community. And having tried it once, the creators could not give up a new "delicacy"! "Historical Excursion 'Jews of Almaty'" and "Children are Our Wealth" followed. The "presentation virus" infects the employees and not only them. We are making new presentations! We are learning!

  We are learning from Jessica Levin, an educator from Jerusalem. Her visit came in handy. We had plenty of questions, and at the same time we could talk with Jessica in the common (professional) language. Thanks to her counsels Hesed "Polina" and "Rimon" JCC received a powerful stimulus for further work with computer presentations. They are illustrative examples of achievements, needs and hopes of the community. They help realizing programs and projects of Jewish organizations.

  But we are not the only people who study to make presentations. October 7 - 12 Almaty welcomed participants of a seminar for new JCC directors in the FSU. In the framework of the seminar Jessica Levin taught JCC directors to make accurate and nice presentations. She tried to impart the participants her knowledge and skills, and teach them to look at their presentations from the point of view of an author, sponsor, and exterior observer. Many interesting questions were touched upon. Things that seem to be elementary at first sight, like background color, typesize, or position of a logotype, in practice can either embellish your work or condemn it to failure. To remember about it, perfect the skills, invent, and experiment with special effects is the main advice for beginners.

  Jessica Levin's training is a good contribution to the future. She managed to kindle JCC directors. Do not be surprised if you see new presentations on our web-site. We would appreciate if you share your opinion and point of view on computer presentations. We look forward to receiving your e-mails on contact@mitsva.kz

Galina Goldberg

If you want to learn how to make "Power Point" presentations, you see Jessica Levin's manual by clicking here.

Jessica Levin
A teacher from Jerusalem
Jessica Levin
  Rufa Boguslavskaya and Sophia  Filkova
JCC directors Rufa Boguslavskaya
and Sophia Filkova
Training games
Training games
Photo of Vladimir Semchuk
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