The Program caters to Jewish adults who are at various stages of commitment. It has a broad Jewish studies curriculum with classes on various levels given by the shlichim of Orach Chaim. Some of the classes are in group settings with separate classes for men and women, while others are given on an individual basis.
The younger division has the opportunity to advance in their Jewish knowledge. They work on arts_and_crafts projects relating to Jewish themes simultaneously learning new songs and dances. The opportunity for parents of our students to study Torah reinforces the development of the children's Jewish identity. This, in turn, helps create a generation of Jews in Ukraine knowledgeable enough to understand and keep mitzvos.
JEWISH DAY SCHOOLS
The Orach Chaim Kiev Jewish Day School was opened in 1990 as the first Jewish day School in Ukraine after the Second World War. About 300 students of the school benefit from a full Limudei Kodesh program including reading, writing and spoken Hebrew. They also have an intense academic secular program. We serve our students two free hot meals daily as well as a snack. They are provided with textbooks and free round_trip transportation to school. We have a strong Jewish extra curricular program including a boys and a girls' choir, a voluntary Jewish knowledge learning program and various chesed projects.
At present approximately 60 boys and girls aged 4 to13 study at the Cheder from 9:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. The project is a unique one as the Israeli and local teachers conduct all lessons in Hebrew according to Israeli programs approved by the Ministry of Israel. In the afternoon the children study secular subjects. They are provided with breakfasts, hot lunches and snacks. By offering the option of Ivrit Beivrit we give young families an opportunity to educate their children on a level similar to that found in Israeli schools. Thanks to the program offered in this school we hope to attract new people to the community. Our school also plays a integral role in allowing Jewish families to remain in Kiev rather than leave when their children reach school age. The Cheder is of vital importance for the development of the Kiev Jewish community.
Since 1990 we have served an average of 400 girls and boys per summer. Many of them return to our camp year after year even after they have graduated from school. In 2002 we were fortunate with the help of the Lauder Foundation to purchase a beautiful campgrounds 60_km from Kiev. The camps offer a rich introduction to Yiddishkeit since some of the campers come from cities with no formal Jewish cultural or religious life. The program also provides impoverished children the relief and support that only a warm caring environment can offer. We always serve our children fresh nutritious food. Together with the outdoor life that camp offers the children leave at the end of the summer with a healthy glow on their faces. The camp is directed by the shlichim, local staff and counselors from around the world. Our counselors are exceptional bochrim and seminary graduates who choose to spend their summer in Ukraine volunteering at our camp. The bond developed between camper and counselor last not merely for a summer, but for a lifetime. Indeed, counselors from the first year of summer camp are still in close contact with their former campers. We have an exciting learning program, which familiarizes campers with Torah and mitzvos. The campers are encouraged to continue their education after the summer in Jewish schools. This goal has been met and recognized countless times, as more and more students apply to Jewish schools in Ukraine and across the globe.
The kindergarten was opened and licensed by the Ukrainian Educational Authorities in the year 1992. At present 70 boys and girls ages 1.5 - 6 attend the kindergarten, located in a two_story building. The staff consists of professional bilingual shlichim and experienced local Jewish teachers, who are devoted to restoring Yiddishkeit in Ukraine. The language of instruction is Hebrew and Ukrainian. The children learn about Jewish traditions, stories from the Torah, the aleph beis and beginning of spoken Hebrew, by way of appropriate songs and games. They are also taught the obligatory Ukrainian educational program. The parents take an active part in all activities. One of our main goals is to encourage the children to continue their education in a Jewish school.