Tanya Gutsol, the editor of the newly created Jewlicious.ru (Jewlicious in Russian!), isn’t one to rest on her laurels. Following her participation in ROI120 last year, she’s been a one woman beehive of activity. As a JCSC Fellow at UMBC Hillel, she took a group of 10 local students on a 10 day alternative Spring Break tour of the Jewish communities of Kiev and Odessa. Tanya, a native of Kiev, took great pride in giving her Hillel charges an insider’s look at a community still emerging from decades of Soviet oppression and a history that includes both a thriving Jewish cultural and religious life as well as ingrained anti-Jewish hostility and Antisemitism. This trip was further relevant to its participants by virtue of the fact that Baltimore and Odessa are official sister cities (they both have ports!).
The participants returned from their trip raving about the experience. As well as participating in a series of leadership development programs with their local peers, the students engaged in a number of “Tzedek” projects that saw them, amongst other things, meeting and talking to various Jewish locals, cleaning up an old Jewish cemetery and joining in the Purim festivities. So successful was this experience in fact, that the Odessa Committee of The Associated – Baltimore’s Federation, decided to implement a project called Harbor 2 Harbor.
This project will see 8-10 young Ukrainian Jews come to Baltimore for one week to enjoy the community’s hospitality and to engage in a number of projects, activities and leadership training.
It’s a wonder Tanya has time to post on Jewlious.ru!