From February 16-24, 2013, six second-year Hornstein students were joined by Hornstein Director, Ellen Smith, for an intensive study tour of contemporary Jewish life and history in Ukraine. The goals of the trip were to:
- Achieve a better understanding of the contemporary Ukrainian Jewish community—it's current status, condition, and challenges.
- Deepen understanding of Ukrainian Jewish history, including in the contexts of the region's general history and global Jewish history.
- Acquire networks, insights, and examples of practice that can inform and impact students' future professional careers.
The group met with organizational and thought leaders, Jewish peer groups, and visited historical sites in Kiev and Odessa. Additional stops were made in the towns of Belaya Tzerkov and Uman. Participant, Matt Brown '14, summed it up this way:
"In our final semester of the Program, the opportunity for exposure to a vital segment of the global Jewish community was one none of us could pass up. From meeting leaders who weathered the transition from Communism to youths and students experimenting with what it means to be a Jew today, each individual and group brought us valuable perspectives for our careers in the U.S. and Israel."
The Ukraine seminar was made possible with generous support from the Brandeis Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry and the Genesis Philanthropy Group. We look forward to another trip, this time to Moldova and Ukraine, in February 2014.