"When both sides work together to create something that energizes and fortifies us as a people, then we know it is a true partnership."
- Hannah Silverstein, 3 time Beltsy Mission delegate
Reconnecting Jews to their heritage has been a cornerstone of the work the Federation does with our sister city partnership in the Former Soviet Union, Beltsy, Moldova. Begun in the year 2000, the relationship has evolved over the years, but continues to exemplify our community's ongoing commitment to providing outlets for Jews to expand their "Jewishness".
The Greensboro Jewish Federation has built a Jewish community Center, published a book, helped fund the restoration and preservation of the Beltsy Jewish cemetery, and numerous other humanitarian projects with this community in the FSU. A Jewish educator or rabbi visits annually with the Federation delegation offering the opportunity for Jewish life cycle events and ensures that they have the choice to engage in Jewish education and celebration. Dental missions from North Carolina and doctors from Jewish Healthcare International also receive support from our Federation dollars. A highlight of the partnership is the Annual Jewish Summer Camp Delet which is run with the coordinating efforts of the American Jewish Joint Distribution committee and the collaborative efforts of the Beltsy and Greensboro Jewish community.
Since the partnerships inception over 100 members of the Greensboro Jewish community have journeyed to Moldova to help make a difference in the lives or our Beltsy family and in doing so have changed their own lives. The Greensboro Jewish Federation has helped plant the seed for a viable, self-sufficient Jewish community and hopefully, helped to educate tomorrow’s leaders both in Greensboro and in the FSU.
Quotes from past participants:
"Words cannot even begin to describe how remarkable the trip to Moldova was. Every moment spent with either the little kids or the adults was memorable. Despite the language barrier there was a certain connection as we interacted with the campers. Being Jewish brought us all together and I am so grateful to have been a part of sharing with them. I hope my memories from Moldova will not only be limited to one summer, but to more in the future."
- Hillary Muss, student delegate
"Delet has been a unique lifeline that extends from a Jewish community in the United States to a Jewish community in Moldova. The American group always arrives with medications, blankets, toys, Hebrew books, baby caps – anything and everything. We visit orphanages, hospitals, apartments and find the most amazing stories along the way. The Jewish community in Moldova awaits this short week each summer like nothing else – it is their only link to a bigger world that cares about them,"
- Lena Muroncuic, member of the Beltsy community and current student at Wellesley College in the United States
“To see the young people who went from Greensboro take on responsibilities of teaching, leading programs, reading Torah on Shabbat, translating, intermingling with the campers from Beltsy and making new friends was rewarding, The program is filled with so much ruach and joy, it is amazing.”
- Doug Dodd, Adult delegate
The project that in 2000 with the writing of One People, One Heart was intended to build a library in our Sister City of Beltsy, Moldova, in 2005, after collecting $57,390, the doors opened not only to the library, but to a Jewish Community Center - a place where people of all generations can come to celebrate, observe, learn and rejoice for generations to come.
To learn more about the Jewish community of Beltsy and the surrounding region, click here to visit the Moldovan Jewish Community Website.