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JSC Summer Fellowship | UKRAINE

Volunteer Placement

Kharkov is the second largest city in Ukraine and the former capital. Located in the northeast of the country, Kharkov is a major cultural, scientific, educational and industrial center, with a population of approximately 1,500,000. In the years following World War II, the remnants of Kharkov's Jewish community managed to maintain an underground Jewish life, despite communist persecution and anti-Semitism. When the Iron Curtain fell at last, and Ukraine became independent, the Jews of Kharkov were finally able to work openly to renew and restore Jewish life. In 1997, JDC opened an office in Kharkov to assist in the enormous task of Jewish communal revival, playing a leading role in establishing and cultivating a Jewish Community Center, a Hesed Welfare Center and a network of educational facilities.

Today, Kharkov boasts an active group of lay leaders, who, together with JDC, are working to establish key communal institutions and create a self-sustaining Jewish community with a promising future. One such local communal institute is the "Hillel IT School", a technological educational platform functioning as a social business. Run by a local graduate of JDC's leadership programs, the Hillel IT School works closely with the Jewish community, offering a wide verity of free or mostly subsidized classes – from basic digital skills lessons for first graders, to teaching bed-ridden elderly how to get online and connect with the outside world. This summer the Hillel IT School will offer a digital training camp for teenagers, teaching topics such as coding or robotics.

About the Jewish Community of UKRAINE

Ukraine is home to the third largest Jewish community in Europe—the fifth largest in the world. Like much of former Soviet Jewry, Ukraine’s Jews have survived the pogroms and the Holocaust, and outlasted Communist Jewish oppression. Today, though the country is struggling with economic turmoil and aging infrastructure, its Jewish community is growing, working tirelessly to assist its needy and to foster leadership among its most dedicated.

JDC reentered Ukraine to rebuild the shattered remnants of Jewish life following the fall of the Soviet Union. Faced with the acute suffering of Jews made vulnerable by the difficult political and economic transition, including the hyperinflation of the early 1990s, JDC began providing critical food, medicine, and other support that continues as its hallmark in the region.

What will Fellows do?

Program Breakdown
July 10-11: Orientation in Kharkov
July 12-August 9: Work in the Hillel IT Camp

Throughout the summer, approximately 40 campers between the ages of 9-14 will participate in the Hillel IT Camp. Campers will receive specialized English language instruction with a focus on tech vocabulary, and will learn a variety of subjects, ranging from social media, to coding and robotics. The focus on these areas will give young campers an advantage in the field of technology that will help them as they move through high school and university.

Fellows will:

  • Lead specialized language instruction
  • Support the training of campers in a variety of tech skills, such as coding and robotics
  • Teach the use of various social media platforms
  • Serve as mentor and role model to young members of the Ukrainian Jewish Community
While volunteering at the Hillel IT Camp, fellows will be immersed in Kharkov's vibrant Jewish community, meeting local Jewish peers, participating in community activities and learning about JDC's extensive work with the local community.

Program Dates:
July 10 - August 9, 2018 (subject to change)

Application Deadline:
April 30, 2018

Desired Qualifications:
• Background or interest working with children and young adults
• Informal Jewish educational experience and or camp experience
• Energetic, flexible, open minded, and independent
• Passion for volunteerism and instilling the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam
• Technological skills are a plus
• Fluency in Russian is not required; however, knowledge of the language is a plus.

Participation Fee: $500
This includes:

• Housing
• Group activities and excursions
• Airport pick up/drop off in overseas location
• Meals while at Camp
• Comprehensive health and emergency evacuation insurance
• On-the-ground staff support

This does not include:
• Int'l airfare
• Meals while not at Camp
• Visa (not required for US passport holders)
• Local transportation
• Leisure activities
• Personal expenses

Apply Now

The applications for the JSC Summer Fellowship 2018 session is now open!
Fill out this form if you're interested in applying and we will send you an email with the application link!

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Entwine is a one-of-a-kind movement for young Jewish leaders, influencers, and advocates who seek to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues. We do this by offering service experiences in Jewish communities around the world, educational events and programs, and leadership development opportunities. Entwine is an initiative of JDC, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in the world. JDC works in 70 countries, specializing in humanitarian aid, Jewish community renewal and disaster relief. Learn more:

About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC): For over 95 years, JDC has provided rescue, relief, and renewal for Jewish communities outside of North America, helped Israel meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens, and offered a Jewish response to natural and man-made disasters and non-sectarian development needs around the world. JDC's work in over 70 countries is inspired by Jewish values of mutual responsibility, that kol yisrael areivim zeh l'zeh (all of Israel is responsible for one another), and tikkun olam, that Jews have an obligation to repair the world. Learn more: