Jewish Center of Ulyanovsk

Our second annual “Man of the Year” event took place this year on the first day of Chanukah! A tradition we hope to continue for the years to come.
This year we celebrated 10 nominations for this honor. Each nominee received a beautiful plaque engraved with their name and the reason they were chosen. Before being called up to the stage, a short video with an interview of the prospected nominee was shown. After receiving the plaque, the nominee lit one candle of our big electric Menorah. The the last nominee lit the Shamash candle of our silver oil Menorah. After the nominee descended from the stage, a concert number was dedicated for that specific nominee!
One may wonder, what qualifies one to be a nominee? Members of our community who are willing to donate of themselves for the benefit of the community are automatically candidates. It could be through donating their time, energy, brains, resolving issues for the community, and of course, donating money. We have much more than ten people who dedicate to the community, which is why we have a committee to decide who has been the most active in benefiting our community. We consider a number of factors. One thing we consider is, who did the most specifically this year, not who does the most in general for our community. We try to balance the nominations with at least half of them being donors, as without money the community cannot survive at all.
Our ten nominations this year were:
1. Nomination “Family of the Year” for the Rochlis family (Samuel, Alexander and Andrai). The Rochlis family donated money, time, arranged free mechanical fixing of the community car, and arranged free shipping of Kosher food from Moscow.
2. Nomination “Public recognition” for Victoria Chapanina, the director of Sachnut. Victoria has used her talent throughout the past 20 years for many community projects and events free of charge! She does free dancing lessons for women and is very involved in many other community projects.3. Nomination “Board of Trustees” went to Dima Feldman, a strong activist in establishing our board of trustees, and a loyal donor to the Jewish Center.


4. Nomination “Regional leader” for Olga Botchkova, as the newly elected leader of the Jewish community of Dmitrovgrad, a city in Ulyanovsk region. Thanks to her we managed to establish a center for the Jews of Dmitrovgrad.

5. Nomination “Community Center” for Grigory Kodner, for arranging from the municipal of Dmitrovgrad a rent free premises for the Jewish Center of Dmitrovgrad.

6. Nomination “Women’s Academy” For Faina Rikker, the head of our Women’s Club.

7. Nomination “Construction” for Sergei Manelis. Over the past few years, Sergei renovated different rooms in our center free of charge.

8. Nomination “Charitity and Kindness” for Gertruda Kutepova. Gertruda volunteers to help anyone in need, especially the sick, elderly and handicapped.  She is also extremely active in donating her time to arrange community events.

9. Nomination “Education” for Olga Bikova. Olga helped establish our kindergarten “Gan Nes”, our education center “School of Dreams” and the Sunday school in Dmitrovgrad. She is the education director for all our children’s institutions and programs.

10. Nomination “Volunteer” for Lev Zingorenko. Lev volunteers his time, his driver and his car whenever the need arises to go out of town. We have seminars, Shabbatons and camps in Kazan, Samara and Tolyatti (cities which are a three – four hour drive from Ulyanovsk).

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