Updated: May 16
JTEEN Crash Course- Refuseniks: Let My People Go!
To date we have only given the class one time, but it is slated to become part of our regular JTEEN curriculum and will be taught at 6-8 Congregational schools over the coming year, to over 100 Jewish teens. It is being added to our “JTEEN U: Crash Course” series where we take a major Jewish event or person (or both) and give a 45 minute crash course on the subject. The lesson was (and will be) given via a slideshow with the strong expectation that none of the students know what a Refusenik is. Of the eight students who participated in the first class, only one knew what a Refusenik was, but her parents are Russian. The lesson is part lecture, part discussion, with students being asked what they would do living under the hardships faced by Soviet Jews. This first group of students was quite shocked by the information presented to them, having not been aware of Refuseniks, the extent of their plight, or the sheer number of Soviet Jews affected by Russia’s oppressive policies. I have no doubt that they will certainly have a different perspective on Russian Jewry now, and at the very least they all know what a Refusenik is. It was indeed an eye-opening experience, one I look forward to recreating again and again at the various schools, synagogues and camps the lesson will be presented at in the future.
Lesson created by: Yoni Glatt, Director of JTEEN-GMW
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ