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Artistic Jewish Calendar Infused With Russian Memories

By Sarah Bendetsky

Volunteers from Subbotnik, a grassroots organisation bringing together Russian Jews in Australia, recently surprised the community. The organisation published its first Jewish calendar “infused with Russian memories” featuring an artistic tapestry of Soviet cities and their Jewish symbols.

Sarah Bendetsky, Subbotnik’s co-founder said, “We created this calendar to unite the Russian-speaking Jewish community throughout the times and generations. Each page of the calendar tells the story of a different city where our community came from. It’s filled with triggers from our shared past and serves as a great conversation-starter between parents, grandparents and kids, friends and neighbours.”

The calendar artwork was created by a talented Israeli artist, Ruslan Spivak. He researched the history of Soviet cities, including Kiev, Moscow, Minsk, Tashkent, Baku and Kishinev among others, to showcase the most recognisable sights and symbols as well as images of famous Jewish people and holiday candle lighting times for both Melbourne and Sydney.

“I just loved the Subbotnik calendar,” said Dorina Portnoi. “What a great way to celebrate our history and culture in one publication. It reminded me of so many places where our community came from and about famous Russian Jewish people who made a difference the world a better place. The calendar is very easy to follow, too. I congratulate Subbotnik – it’s an awesome job.”

Once the calendars were published, Subbotnik’s volunteers delivered over 600 calendars around Melbourne and Sydney to save on postage.

The response was overwhelming; community absolutely loved the calendar and asked for more copies to be published. Another print run was organised thanks to Leonid and Inna Shisman’s kind donation and a generous discount by Weis Printing.

Subbotnik extends its tremendous appreciation to the following organisations and businesses for helping to cover the production costs: Weis Printing, Vecs Building and Maintenance, EyeQ Constructions, Kangarusski, BAS & MORE Bookkeeping and Virtual CFO Services, Binyan Studios, Australian Forum of Russian-Speaking Jewry, Dental Art, Gable Lawyers, Russian Sunday School Lider, Mila’s Catering, Alona’s Catering, Margarita’s Loans and Finances, Click Clack Cabinets, Evrika Construction and Project Management and Aus Fire Opals.

The organisation thanks the amazing enthusiasts in the community for their kind assistance with calendar deliveries in Melbourne and Sydney including Bella Geller; Jenny Medvedev; Vita Iflyand; Anna Gontmakher; Svetlana Finkin; Yana Lev; Tatiana Ferlikovsky; Rami Teplitskiy; Alina Zamel-Well; Anna Maylis; Marina Prostakova; Roman Mirkus; Yehuda Bondar; Maya Levenfus, Gennady Vilkhov, Rivkah and Moshe Kofmansky, and Natalya Mendelevich.

For more information about Subbotnik, a grassroots organisation running events and projects for the Russian-speaking Jewish community in Australia, and to assist financially or by volunteering, please visit Subbotnik’s Facebook page, email info@subbotnik.org.au or call Sarah Bendetsky on +61468333770.