Kirovograd's First

The following was written by Elizaveta Bulgacheva and translated by Ezra Moses

On November 29, 2013, at Kirovograd’s Hesed Community Center there was a celebration for Chanukkah. The organizers of this program were from our brand new teen club and this was their first program.

The program was called “Jewish Family Restaurant” which was attended by the elderly poor in the community: grandmothers and grandfathers of 65 years and older. Before the program we ordered the food for a meal and sufganiot, all of which we prepared nicely with drinks for our fellow Jews. Then we organized the room and tables, and on every table we put a chanukiah.

We played music for the audience from the 1960s to the 1980s as well as special Chanukkah music which everyone enjoyed.

Every table had their own waiters, a teenager, that helped get everything the clients wanted. Each client was free to choose from our menu what food they would like and ordered it through their waiter. The orders were then taken to the kitchen where the food was prepared by others teenage volunteers.

Besides the delicious food, the teen club prepared the entire program including the music, Chanukkah sing-a-long, and the prizes that all the clients got at the end of the program.

At the beginning of the evening program we brought in Chanukkah with the lighting of the candles together. Afterwards, we had a 9 year-old from the community sing a song about the holiday. As the night continued, one of the guests told a story about Moses and started singing songs in Yiddish.

 The most unexpected thing was that the guests also prepared something for the end of the program. They brought all of the volunteers Chanukkah gelt.

As the participants were leaving the doors a few said some really moving words:

“The program was very original and unique. Unlike normal, you thought of a whole menu. Please invite us for future events and holidays.”

“Thank you so much! We had an amazing evening. The teenagers were so smart and cute. We really hope that this will not be the last holiday we spend together!”


This year, we are trying to connect Jewish teen clubs, like the one in Kirovograd, throughout Ukraine to each other through seminars and retreats and to BBYO international. Every week, I will be showcasing a different community and their teen club. Help us strengthen the Jewish world by connecting Jewish teens to one another. Learn more by clicking on the following link.

bg page