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Grants in the Former Soviet Union

Workshops for Madrichim

Workshops for Madrichim

This series of workshops for madrichim (counselors) is a joint project of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the UJA-Federation of New York.

The School offers a broad spectrum of informal education models and teaching techniques necessary for working with children and youth.

The courses include Jewish history and philosophy subjects; creative approaches to text study; introduction to child and adolescent psychology; basic principles of program and activities planning; arts, music and games as educational tools; techniques in working with groups and first aid training. A team of leading experts and educators in the field created the curriculum and also teach this program, which is structured over two week-long seminars.

The School also serves as a network for professional support and exchange and has a long-term goal to lay foundations for a professional community of Jewish educators and youth workers.

Participants of the program are recommended by their communities, must have experience working with youth and must commit to work in a Jewish camp over the coming summer. Altogether, 150 young people from various regions in the Russian Federation (RF) and CIS from as far as the Urals and far east of RF have successfully completed the program and subsequently worked as youth leaders in various summer programs using the acquired knowledge and skills.

All respondents expressed a strong wish to continue studying and have recommended the Madrichim School to their peers. Also, their community leaders and supervisors report a significant increase in the quality of youth programs, its educational content and confidence of the graduates as they interact and work with children. Many school graduates launched their own initiatives upon return to their local communities.

Generally, since the program launch, FSU has seen a growing trend in youth leaders' education. The large communities and institutions which organize summer programs for family, children, students and youth with special needs followed suit and now invest more into professional training of their counselors.

The curriculum was developed by educators from Melamedia, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and the Institute for Informal Education, alongside a number of educators from Russian and Ukrainian Jewish organizations with extensive experience in summer retreats and camps.

Current Grants

Past Grants