Are you going to Zoymen? What even is Zoymen and for that matter what does Zoymen mean?
OK – let’s take those one at a time and let’s work backwards. Zoymen means ‘seed’ in Yiddish. It was the name given to The Together Plan’s youth residential programme in the summer of 2018, which took place in the forest in Belarus. It was an extraordinarily exciting and exhilarating action-packed peer-led week of workshops and community building planned and run by our Youth for Youth young adult ambassadors in the UK and Belarus for young people in Belarus.
In 2020 we were due to be back in Belarus for another fantastic summer programme and we were so looking forward to being back in the forest, but alas it wasn’t to be. Although COVID meant we couldn’t get to Belarus it did not dampen our resolve. On the contrary. It was unthinkable and unimaginable that summer would pass with no Youth for Youth activity. So the team reimagined Zoymen taking the brave decision to create a one-day virtual event and open it to everyone. The show would go on and the show did go on with all the excitement, buzz and energy that our in-person, on-location summer camps always deliver.
Now, one year on, Zoymen online is back, bigger, better and bolder, with a whole new look to boot. The decision was taken to make it an autumn event this year, to give people the opportunity to be away from screens over the summer and get out and about after so many months of lockdowns and restrictions.
So let’s get back to ‘what even is Zoymen?’ This year, not only is it a two-day virtual event but it is also part of the European Days of Jewish Culture Festival. The programme features an array of exciting international speakers with special guest Rob Rinder MBE and a UK debut film screening. Join the dialogue around; Jewish Belarus, the Soviet Jews, a new discussion around antisemitism, telling the story of the Jews of Europe, live Klezmer from Minsk and more, so much more.
So finally – the European Days of Jewish Culture Festival! The fundamental objective of this European-wide event, which has been organised since 2000 by the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion and Jewish Heritage and Culture (AEPJ)*, is to highlight the diversity and richness of Judaism and its local, regional and national historical importance, with the firm intention of promoting dialogue, recognition and exchange through conferences, concerts, performances, guided tours and other activities, which take place simultaneously throughout the continent. Check out what is taking place this autumn across Europe by clicking here.
This project has been extensively reinforced by the collaboration with the National Library of Israel, which has acted as a means to develop all kinds of exhibition and educational materials, which have given an important added value to the Festival while facilitating its celebration throughout the continent.
This year the European Days of Jewish Culture will take place under the umbrella of the NOA project (Networks Overcoming Antisemitism), promoting the creation of positive narratives around Jewish culture in Europe.
The AEPJ, the National Library of Israel and Networks Overcoming Antisemitism will all be running fascinating sessions at Zoymen. This year’s festival theme is ‘Dialogue’.
Are you going to Zoymen? Will you join the dialogue? We really hope you are, and we really look forward to seeing you there.
To book tickets click below and don’t forget to tell your friends and family. You might even want to become an event Ambassador. Click here to find out how.