Khai Fest

Khai Fest 2020 - Digital Edition "Sometimes it is during the time of an adversity that an opportunity comes knocking at our door. One such opportunity came to us, in the form of this year’s Khai Fest 2020 – Digital Edition.”The KhaiFest is a community event organised by the members of the Jewish Youth Pioneers (JYP) and the JDC each year in December. It aims at bringing people of all ages together during the festival of Hannukah and providing them with a platform to showcase their talents. With no possibility of hiring an auditorium or having any form of personal gathering, this year we hosted our 24th Khai Fest completely online on the 13th of December.Every living room turned into a little stage and every wall a beautiful backdrop as community members of all ages with both hands grabbed this chance to express themselves and bring out the beauty of their talents. And as they performed, we had audiences pouring-in in great numbers from all around the world including Israel, Canada, USA, Germany, Latvia, Kuwait and Malaysia, making it a truly international event! Beautifully choreographed moved and melodious voices blended in with colour, emotion, passion and even romance, our phenomenal performers brought our screens to life! And to join our two very lovely hosts, we also had with us the gorgeous Elena, our virtual host created using AI. As a local Chazan sang the Hanukkah blessings in our traditional Indian tune the audience lit their Hanukkiot together. Although online, yet a communal lighting, reinforcing…

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Passover

Passover Even though Passover has come and gone, this blog contribution from Maayan Shapurkar,[27 years, Programme Manager for Young Adult Engagement (in the local Jewish community), is a   poignant eyewitness account from Mumbai recounting a modern-day response to crisis. After generations of enslaving the Israelite people, ten plagues and the death of the Egyptian firstborn, Pharaoh finally let the Israelites leave. They prepared in haste and left with their bread unleavened. We remember their journey from slavery to freedom every Pesach and in our prayers throughout the yea This year, as the Coronavirus hijacked our world and shook us out of our routines, the global pandemic offered us an opportunity to take our remembering up a whole new level, to feel the uncertainty, chaos, fear, and anxiety our ancestors felt about where the future would lead. In Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” This year we chose resilience, pushing ourselves to get creative and continue the tradition of a communal seder, thanks to videoconferencing technology. There has never been anything that has stopped the Jews. While certain local community organizations led online seders I and my family like  each year prayed together at home. This year we did not have all our ritual foods, so we used substitutes like garlic for maror and boiled potatoes for karpas. Here in India we…

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