"Mitsva" Association
Sponsored by Joint, FSU Dept.
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  On September 20 participants of the seminar for Hesed directors and the President of the Association of Jewish National Organizations "Mitsva" Alexander Baron met at the round table. Representatives of Jewish communities of Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan expressed their confidence in the fact that such meetings would help to solve common problems of the FSU communities.

  The talk began with the story of the first steps of the renewed Kazakhstani community told by Alexander Baron.

  "Jews have lived here for more than a century. Communal life has existed all that time. And even in the Soviet period we had matzoh!

  "At independence Kazakhstani community gained an opportunity to develop freely and to organize its religious and cultural life. It was then that American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee offered us their help.

  "Thanks to the assistance of AJJDC we can support community members. Today welfare organizations within "Mitsva" Association render assistance to 10000 Jews in 92 localities of Kazakhstan.

  "But we should not stop! We need to go further and to remember that all Jews are responsible for each other. That is why we need to get stronger everyday, and once we have enough knowledge and experience gained with the help of AJJDC we will give a helping hand to our brothers!"

  JCC directors supported the effort of Kazakhstani Jewish community. Every region thought of this issue and tried to solve it. But working together, exchanging experience, discussing successes and fails will help the communities to overcome their difficulties. Training seminars are also of great help.

  "Fundraising is our reality. It helped us to learn the right way of dealing with potential sponsors. It is the first means for the community to gain independence. By the way, it was also given to us by AJJDC!" summed up Alexander Baron.

Galina Goldberg

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