Source: Jerusalem Post
For eight days and seven nights, participants of Project MEGA from Belarus, the United States, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Poland travelled throughout Belarus learning about the country’s history and the history of its Jewish presence.
In addition, MEGA participants worked on cleaning and restoring ancient Jewish cemeteries and decrypted names, dates, prayers and blessings, carved on the matzevot – Jewish tombstones, some of them more than 500 years old.
Project MEGA – which stands for “Memory, Education, Generation, Action” – was born at a local Hillel in the Belarusian capital Minsk, in order to connect young Jews with the history of their community and to help restore Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and other material evidence of Jewish life in Belarus. The program is made possible through the efforts of Hillel International and the support of Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG).
This program was held in Belarus because, although independent Belarus began less than 30 years ago, its land is steeped in the history of many nations. For Jews, Belarus has been one of the prime centers of communal and spiritual life in Eastern Europe since long before the Russian Empire and the establishment of the Pale of Settlement, which included almost of all modern-day Belarus.
MEGA and other joint initiatives by GPG and Hillel aim to close this gap and to connect the new generation of Russian-speaking Jews, wherever they reside around the globe, with their history and legacy, in order to help them to fully develop and enhance their Jewish identity and to establish their own place in the unbreakable golden chain of Jewish peoplehood.
Read more at the Jerusalem Post.