Moscow: First-if-its-Kind Art Contest Enlivens Moshiach Chidon
By: Shayna Ghelber
A Moshiach Chidon contest was organized for Moscow women for the first time, drawing over 100 participants to learn in-depth about Moshiach and be tested on the material. This Chidon came with a twist: women could also join a Moshiach art contest.
Over 30 women created works of art depicting scenes and concepts of Moshiach and Geulah. They showcased their work at the Chidon event.
The art projects were diverse, ranging from poems and websites to tambourines and paintings. One group of girls from a Jewish dormitory showed a video with pictures of themselves doing mitzvos; when zoomed out, these pictures formed the Bais Hamikdash.
The art contest gave women who might not have wanted to take the test an opportunity to participate in this learning initiative.
Mrs. Rivky Wilansky, a shlucha in Moscow, initiated and organized this Chidon for women in her community, using one of the exciting Moshiach-focused curriculums from Tut Altz (produced by JLI): A Vision for Moshiach. The curriculum is now translated into Russian.
The response Mrs. Wilansky received surpassed expectations. “Of all the events and programs and classes we have had over the past ten years,” Mrs. Wilansky wrote, “there’s never been this amount of positive feedback and gratitude.”
One girl shared with Mrs. Wilansky that she had never asked so many Jewish questions in her life and never felt so interested and invested in her Judaism until participating in this contest. When asked on the test what strengthens their faith in Moshiach, at least half of the Chidon participants answered, “learning about this topic.”
When it came to studying, the Chidon participants took on the challenge with vigor, with 18 live classes, multiple zoom sessions, and many women investing several hours on their own to master the material. After taking the test, one girl was inspired to write a poem and turn it into a video; it was not for the contest, “just from the heart.” According to Mrs. Wilansky, when people are hardworking and studious, “you can bring that out in them to channel it to Torah.”
Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302, said, “Moshiach is at the core of our mission, and we are working to make studying about Moshiach accessible and exciting all over the world.”
Tut Altz, a branch of the Moshiach Office at Merkos 302, creates exciting programs to inspire and educate Chassidim about the primary purpose of our generation. To learn more, visit TutAltz.com
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