YAHAD, the Chabad youth organization actively engaging thousands of Russian-speaking students and young professionals, has recently unveiled four original board games packed with Jewish educational content, these games cater specifically to their target audience.
YAHAD, Chabad and the Federation of Jewish Communities youth organization actively engaging thousands of Russian-speaking students and young professionals across Russia and FSU countries, has recently unveiled four original board games. Packed with Jewish educational content, these games cater specifically to their target audience.
“It began a number of years ago,” recalls Rabbi Mendy Wilansky, Director of YAHAD. “The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone, leading us to find ways to empower connections with our students and clubs as it was about to end. With offline ongoing classes and social activities yet inaccessible, we decided to send them games… That decision shifted the atmosphere, sparking the idea to create games infused with Yiddishkeit, Jewish values and content, tailored for Russian-speaking young professionals!”
The subsequent step was evident. YAHAD assembled a team of rabbis and professionals to craft the games, each offering varying levels of complexity. “These games aren’t designed for kids… They’re both captivating and challenging,” emphasizes Rabbi Wilansky.
Jewneration, Chochma Battle, Menschkin, and Sanhedrin swiftly gained popularity, already reaching thousands of individuals across Russia and the FSU. The resurgence of interest in offline and non-computer board and card games also contributed to their rapid buzz.
“The games are enjoyable while encouraging individuals to seek and contemplate. They can be played for hours,” elaborates Rabbi Wilansky. “They feature intriguing questions, facts about Jewish history and prominent figures, discussions and halachic rulings in rare and exotic situations, among much more.”
“Especially in the summer when the Shabbos weekends are long and there’s a lot of free time,” adds Rabbi Dovid Schapiro, who leads the R&D team. “Young people enjoy playing all sorts of games to have fun and pass the time. This is what led us to develop Jewish games. Each game we create is very authentic, with each illustration specially drawn by our artist. After several months of hard work, we can proudly say: games tailored for intellectually young individuals bringing them closer to their roots and tradition in an experiential and interesting way, all with a wide smile on their faces.”