The opening of Ulyanovsk’s first Jewish kindergarten was celebrated Sunday, under the leadership of Shluchim Rabbi Yossi and Suri Marozov .
The name of the kindergarten is “Gan Nes,” which means miracle, Marozov says. “It is a true miracle that we managed to open up a preschool, despite the many obstacles we encountered.”
Plans for the Jewish kindergarten began when a group of mothers approached the Marozovs with the request to open up a Jewish Preschool. One mother’s primary concern was kosher food. “How can I send my children to a local preschool, where they will be served non-kosher?” she asked. For others it was the urge to have their children brought up Jewish. One mother explained, “I did not have any Jewish upbringing, how am I supposed to educate my children on my own?” A third mother explained, “to me it does not matter necessarily that my children be religious, but if my child will be educated in a Jewish environment, that will guarantee that she will grow up to be a good person, and that’s important to me!”
Ulyanovsk is an extremely poor community, coupled with the fact that the global financial crisis has made many funds and outside donors reserved to sponsor new projects. Despite this, and many other obstacles that kept coming our way, we managed to open up a preschool! And not just any preschool, but one with the highest standards ever. Our newly renovated state of the art facilities include: a play room divided into educational sections (library, kitchen, store, doctors office, sensory corner, art center, blocks, puzzles…) two classrooms, and a kitchen (with separate cooking and dinette areas). The lobby is colorfully decorated with a special cubby for every child, with his/her name and picture on it.
In addition to regular studies, the children will learn dance, Hebrew, English and Jewish tradition. The methodology of learning will be hands-on activities, games and poetry so that the children can comprehend the maximum information in a fun and positive way.