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Dov Schuhmann: Die erste Begegnung mit einem Jekke

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Ella Nilova – Jewish Youth Work between Kiev and Berlin

Ella Nilova, Director of J-ArtEck. PHOTO: Jean-Christian Peterson

Ella Nilova at the Janusz Korczak House. One of the subjects in her work with young people is the Jewish-Ukrainian Culture League. That avant-garde movement existed in Kiev between 1918 and 1921. It spread throughout the world.

It is March 6. I am walking through cold and moist Berlin air. In a backyard next to the Red City Hall is the Janusz Korczak House. It is run by Ella Nilova. Through her youth education center J-ArtEck, she usually brings Jewish children from Israel, Ukraine, Russia, but also from other Eastern European countries to Berlin – even in times of war. The project is funded by the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ) and the German Federal Foreign Office as part of the „MEET UP! Youth for Partnership“ program.

But Nilova’s commitment is currently facing a problem. „The youth hostels are fully booked up to the end 2024,“ explains the educator who has Russian-Ukrainian roots herself. „And apartments are now being built where our 10-day summer camp used to be held.“


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