ABOUT THE PROJECT

The essence of the Project is series of publications – educational books for kids that will allow them to acquire knowledge not only about the rich cultural heritage and Jewish traditions, but also about universal values.
There were three books published so far:

A Majse - funny counting rhymes regarding Jewish traditions;
Majn Alef Bejs - rhymes about Yiddish alphabet;
Jontew Lider - poems about the most important Jewish holidays.

Thanks to Jewish Communities, JDC Poland, Jewish Schools, associations and Jewish foundations working in the broad field of education, books are being given to the kids of Jewish background in Poland for free. Since 2010 when the first books was published, series is successfully used in workshops and educational programs conducted in local Jewish communities.

As a part of the project we also created a website www.majse.czulent.pl, presenting contents of each of the books in an interesting, interactive - and what’s the most important for kids – in a fun way.

Why we chose fairy tales as educational method?

When we first begin discussing the project, we were wondering how to present Jewish history, traditions and religion to the children in a way that would be not only understandable, but also fun and interesting. That is why we made a decision that the best and the most gentle educational form is a fairy tale – a majse in Yiddish that is also how the project got the name. Fairy tales are priceless in teaching the youngsters about their heritage and can be used as a tool in developing the one’s national identity. Children who aquaint the contents of the tales about values typical for Jewish culture; also those about spiritual character get to know the heritage of its own nation. Stories put in our publications are presented in form of rhymes. Authors are Jewish writers from the mid-war time that created their works in Yiddish : Icchak Lejbusz Perec, Kadia Mołodowska, Lejb Kwitko, Ida Maze, Jehoszua Kamiński and Szmuel Cesler.

The book’s strength is its double-linguistics. Each poem is written both in Polish and Yiddish. While translating, we left a lot of phrases as they were in original, adding the transliteration, which is really helpful for those who don’t know Yiddish. We are aware that the book must be understandable and visually attractive for the young readers, so we put a lot of attention to the illustrations. It is a modern composition inspired by Jewish motifs that are close to children’s imagination.

We were trying to choose the poems that will inspire kids to inquire about the Jewish traditions. Very important element of our project is encouraging parents to read together with their children; which may lead not only to strengthening the family bounds, allowing parents to actively participate in shaping kid’s identity but also being with them as they discover new phenomenon and problems.

Project supported by:

Sigmund Rolat Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji The Kronhill Pletka Foundation The Morris J. and Betty Kaplun Foundation The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Taube Foudation for Jewish Life & Culture The Duch Jewish Humanitarian Fund Ministerstwo Administracji i Cyfryzacji

© by Czulent Jewish Association, Krakow 2013