Summer In-Door Schools

Summer School on Jewish Studies in Poland

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Dear Friends!

We are pleased to inform you that on August 17-27, 2017, the Sefer Center, Institute of History of the University of Warsaw, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews of Polin, with the support of the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the UJA Federation of NY, conducted a summer in-door Jewish school in Poland. The theme of our school is "Polish Jewry as a cultural and historical phenomenon".

You can find the reporthere.
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Summer In-door Schools

Summer „in-door“ Schools on Jewish studies (mini-universities” held in Moscow) – are part of so-called informal Jewish education, that allows young people to get knowledge from various spheres of science.
Schools organized by Sefer are week-long programs for students and post-graduates of Jewish universities or Jewish Studies Departments, also for students of other universities and young researchers who are seriously studying Judaism. The courses delivered by the scholars from Russia and Israel are distinguished by their uniqueness i.e. they are not taught in any university neither in Russia nor in the FSU.
In 2009-2011 about 600 students from all over the FSU attended Sefer’s summer and winter schools.



Summer School on Jewish Studies 2016 in Ostroh

(July 10-17, 2016)


Moscow Summer School on Jewish Studies 2015

(July 12-17, 2015, 73 participants)



Moscow Summer School on Jewish Studies 2014

(July 13-17, 2014, 64 participants)

Summer School on Jewish Studies organized by Sefer Center took a place on July, 13th 17th , 2014 in Golitsyno, and after it 19th International Youth Conference on Jewish Studies was held on 18th of July in IAAS MSU. The school and conference were organized in partnership with Chais Center for Jewish Studies in Russian (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Polish Cultural Center in Moscow.

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Summer School on Jewish Studies was held with financial support by Avi Chai Foundation, Genesis Philanthropy Groupand Israel Cultural Center in Moscow.

Movie about Summer School 2014 (by Valentina Korabelnikova)is availablehere.

Photo Album ishere.



In both school and conference took part 54 students and 10 lecturers from different countries:

- Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhnekamsk, Irkutsk, Kovrov, Bryansk, Perm, Samara, Ekaterinburg),

- Ukraine (Kiev, Odessa, Lugansk, Poltava),

- Belarus (Minsk, Borisov),

- Latvia (Riga),

- Germany (Hildesheim),

- USA (Chicago),

- Israel (Jerusalem),

- Poland (Poznan).

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There were 3 thematic groups of the courses: Jews and War, Jews and Power, Reflection of the War and Power in the Culture and Art. Eachgroupincluded3courses.

Besides it program included workshop on making movie with Valentina Korablenikova. During the workshop a short movie dedicated to the theme of war was made, it is availablehere.

Also the students could take part in watching and discussing movies, lecture-degustation about beer (with Maxim Gammal) and intellectual game What? Where? When? (with Ilya Ber). The school was closed on 17th of July with the concert of Bubamara Brass Band.


The full program (in Russian) is availablehere.



Moscow Summer School in Jewish Studies 2013

(July 8-12, 2013, 78 participants)

We are pleased to report that the two major events of the year in the world of student Jewish studies - XVIII International Youth Conference and Summer School of Jewish Studies were held in hotel "Cosmos", Moscow on July 7-12. Students, graduate students and young scientists from different regions of Russia, CIS and Baltic countries gathered in Moscow to participate in these significant events.

The programs were organized in cooperation with the Chais Center (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), and with the support of charitable funds AVI CHAI, Genesis Philanthropy Group (within the program CAF «Jewish communities»), UJA Federation of NY, Russian Jewish Congress, Joint Distribution Committee and some other donors who prefer to remain anonymous.

The school and conference were opened with the welcoming words by Sefer Center Victoria Mochalova, educational programs coordinator Anna Shaevich and the Chais Center director Simon Goldin. Then the lectures briefly outlined the contents of the upcoming courses. A.Yampolskaya and V.Shaydurov presented to the guests and participants their latest books. The Executive director of the Russian JewishCongress Matvey Chlenov made the announcement about the new grant program of RJC, and as the chief editor of the book "Tirosh: works on Jewish Studies" presented a new 13 edition.

Lecture program was intense and diversified in topics. The courses of lectures were given by the leading professors of CIS and Israel, the program was divided into five thematic sessions each containing 3 courses. The topics includedJews and Judaism in the Ancient times and in the era of the Second Temple(Sergey Tishchenko, Michael Tuval, Dmitry Bratkin),History and Historical Memory . Nationalism(Simon Goldin, Valery Dymshits, Victoria Mochalova),The Jews in the economy(Maxim Hammal, Ilya Barkussky, Dmitry Maryasis),Jewish Thought(Michail Vogman, Sophia Kopelyan, Anna Yampol'skaya),Jewish Art(Hillel Kazovsky, Velvl Chernin, Svetlana Pakhomova).

In addition to the lecturing part the participants were offered daily optional evening program: Booknik project Birthday celebration, Tours around Jewish Moscow, tours by the leading fellows at the Jewish Museum and the Museum of the History of Jews in Russia.

As part of the school program the presentation of collection volumes based on Sefers Field Schools in Latgale and Belarus was organized in cooperation with the Research Center of the Jewish Museum on July 9.

We are pleased to note that a lot of warm words were said at the school closing session. One could hear the expressions of gratitude towards the lecturers, as they managed to truly quicken the interest of both young scientists who had repeated experience in our previous programs and novice participants. For their part, teachers the lecturers praised the work of students who have demonstrated a good knowledge background and activity in the classrooms. As for the organizers and sponsors, their work was appraised in the words of Valery Dymshitz. As he put it it is nearly a miracle that such valuable programs in Jewish studies are held on a regular basis already for many years.

Photo Album


Summer School on Jewish Studies in St. Petersburg 2012

(July 4-10, 2012, 93 participants)

On 4-11 of July in St. Petersburg, which is also known as the ‘cradle of academic Jewish studies, within the walls of the oldest university in Russia in cooperation with the youngest department of the University, the Department of Jewish Culture, St. Petersburg State University, the two key events of the summer Summer School Jewish Studies and the XVII International Conference on Jewish Studies were held by Sefer Center.
The school was opened with the words of gratitude that Sefer Educational programs coordinator A. Shaevich expressed to the sponsors, who supported the program: AVI-CHAI Foundation and Genesis (as part of CAF). Addressing the audience, Sefer Center director V. Mochalova emphasized the symbolism and significance of the time and the place of the School on Jewish Studies, and shared a dream of opening Jewish Studies departments at universities all over the CIS. The creation of such department in St.Petersburg is an important step in the right direction. Head of the Department of Jewish Culture Professor I. Tantlevsky, developing the idea of the role of St. Petersburg in the development of academic Jewish studies, noted a unique database of sources, stored in the archives of the city, which is the largest in Russia. Chairman of the Academic Council of the Center Chase Hebrew University Professor Cyril Aslanov gave the speech in which he drew attention to the key role of philology, a gem of academic Jewish Studies, as he put it.
As part of the official opening the books published by the Sefer in 2011/2012 were presented.
The Summer school program included five lectures courses in five thematic torrents that have been given by the leading educators, university professors from St. Petersburg and Israel: D.Romashov, U.Gershovich, A.Nemirovskaya (Jewish Thought), S.Goldin, V.Kelner, V.Mochalova (History of the Jews of Eastern Europe), S.Parizhsky, V.Chernin and V.Dymshits (Jewish Literature), Z.Kopelman, S.Aslanov, I. Vasiliev (Contemporary Israeli culture), A.Ivanov, E.Hazdan and I.Mamonova (Jewish art).
Besides the regular lecture courses the school program included intellectual game "What? Where? When "(A. Vorobyov), master-classes in Epigraphy (V.Dymshits), Ethnography (M.Bruk), Jewish dance (Y.Bruk), Jewish Music Library (E. and E.Hazdan) and Information wars with the participance of Israel (I.Vasilev). In addition, especially for school students a number of excursions about Jewish St. Petersburg were held by L.Landa, V.Trifsik and V.Dymshits.
This summer 93 students from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Latvia and Israel took part in the school.

The School Program (In Russian) Photo Album



Summer School on Jewish Studies in Moscow 2011

(July 6-12, 2011, 109 participants)


Last year's (2011) Summer school program was compiled with the recomendations of Sefer's Academic Board and the wishes of the participants of previous schools so as to meet a wide range of scientific interests of thr students. All proposed courses were divided into eight thematic threads: Ancient Near East and ancient Judaism, Jewish-Christian dialogue, Jews and Russia, Jewish thought, Jewish art, Jewish literature, Jewish communities, history and The present Israeli society. Leadin experts, teachers of the Jewish studies came from Israel and Belarus, the various regions of Russia especially to deliver lectures.
The most popular among the school participants (in attendance) were the courses of U. Gershovich, S. Stepanishchev, Y. Regev, W. Mochalova, D. Shevelev, V. Mesamed and Z. Hanin. This was evidence that the issues of modern Israel and Jewish philosophy were of high scientific interest to the students. According to the students' reviews the basis for success of the courses were such strengths of the lecturers as "professionalism," "charismatic delivery" of the material and "pithiness" , "a unique information". It is important to note that the courses, lagging the number of students, distinguished quality and depth: small class sizes allowed teachers to engage all participants in the debate, to take part in the analysis and to express their positions. As a result, all courses, without exception, were awarded the best reviews and highest ratings from the students.
It is worth noting that the summer school program was not limited to mandatory attendance part (lectures): everyone could sign up for special master classes that arose their interser, the subjects of which were also extremely diverse. Thus, the participants of the school had the opportunity to learn the basics of Hebrew and Yiddish, learn to write articles and even try the technique of massage. Deep into the night work was carried out in literary workshops. The unique part of the program, implemented with the support of "Bridges of Culture" and the Center for Chase, became Theatre Workshop under the direction of U. Gershovich and director G. Zeltser, where one could try himself as theater director and actor (in Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice").
In addition, the most active and interested students, recognizing the uniqueness of the event and academic encirlement, enjoyed the opportunity to talk and argue with their teachers: thus, when the formal framework of the educational program can be calculated according to the official schedule, out-of-class part of her cannot be even approximately assessed.
Download Summer School Program (rus)

Photo Album

The information on the previous schools so far is only available in Russian