"Mitsva" Association
Sponsored by Joint, FSU Dept.
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11-14 August 2002, Almaty

  Maybe someone still believes that "planning" remains in the past together with Soviet economy. Reality seems to prove this statement, but there are people who do not agree at all.

  "Strategic Planning of the Development of Jewish Communities" seminar held on August 11-14 in Almaty, gathered the directors of almost all the Heseds of Kazakhstan. The main Joint specialist Marina Fromer's brilliant lectures were followed by Natan Gelman and Irina Zaltsman's training, the whole process was perfectly coordinated by Lyubov Stavnitser. The hospitable "Kargalinski" sanatorium became a witness of a brave attempt to introduce American wisdom to the severe post Soviet Jewish reality.

  The reality resisted, but mostly for show. In fact, everybody was thrilled to the marrow of the bones with the process of learning the main notions of strategic planning, working out administrative decisions, expertise.
The culmination point of the seminar was an organizational game, in the process of which everybody took part (either actively or passively) in the discussion of a strategic plan of the development of the city Jewish community. "Passive" participants could "vote with their legs" :- moving closer if there was a topic interesting for them, or moving back if there was not. The main issue of the seminar was the necessity to take into consideration the opinion of all interested parties. The next training will show if they manage to realize this idea.

  One of the lectures let the participants have a look at the problem from another side. The lecturer Alexander Abramovich formulated its purpose as consideration of the Tanah contents as some strategic project made by G-d. The lecture aroused interest. This line of discussion is planned to be continued in future.

  The meeting dedicated to 10 years anniversary of "Mitsva" held on the last day of the seminar was very interesting. The participants were shown a slide-film called "Historical excursion 'The Jews of Almaty'", which left nobody indifferent. The representative of the Israel Embassy in Kazakhstan Dan Meiri, the head of the republican Sohnut Jacob Rotman and other guests of high standing took part in the grand meeting. According to the general opinion, the meeting, as well as the seminar, was a success.

  At the end the group of the participants gained its name; Max Wiesel suggested to call it "Spectrum" (SPKJCD: - Strategic Pulse of the Kazakhstan Jewish Creative Development). Let us hope that Max did the same as Adam in Eden: - when the first man gave names to everything around him, he proceeded from the deeply understood essence of every phenomenon.

Alexander Kotlitski

Marina Fromer's lecture
Marina Fromer's lecture
Strategic planning of the development of Jewish Communities
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