The Rogatchi Foundation Yenike Stipend Award Ceremony in Ukraine

In June 2013, Inna and Michael Rogatchi visited Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community in Ukraine to conduct their Foundation Yenike Stipend Award Ceremony for the orphans there. The Stipend named in memory of their daughter Julia-Yenike is awarded to the best students among the orphans, to support and to stimulate them in their studies, and also to provide a bit of home care and attention to those kids.

This year, the Stipend was doubled in its size and was awarded to twice as many children as previously thanks to the international support of the Rogatchis’ friends from all over the world, to mark Michael Rogatchi’s 60th anniversary earlier in 2013.

Michael Rogatchi who conducted the Award Ceremony at the largest in the world Jewish community Menorah Centrein Dnepropetrovsk told the children and many guests on that international effort:

“We have been staying in touch with both boys and girls pansions of the community for years now, and are very happy to follow your development and co-enjoy many of your successes (several of recipients of The Rogatchi Foundation Stipend showed very good results in their studies and have been admitted into leading universities and educational shools worldwide, in Vienna, Moscow, St Petersburg and Israel).”

Girls and boys from the orphanages in the company of their friends from yeshiva and mahon (school for girls) in Dnepropetrovsk at the Yenike Award Ceremony. June 2013

“Earlier this year, having a (special) birthday, I and my wife addressed our friends worldwide, asking them to join us in a special campaign to boost this Stipend and to support you. To our great joy, many of our friends from many different countries, from Finland to Singapore and from Italy to Israel, including the USA, UK, France, Estonia, and Belgium decided to participate in our campaign. I am very happy to tell you that among those people were outstanding celebrities such as Evgeny Kissin, leading politicians such as member of the European Parliament Sari Essayah, the best in the world expert on Picasso’s original prints and one of the leading world philanthropists Frederick Mulder CBE, famous actors such as Maija-Liisa Marton and choreographers such as Tiina Lindfors, legendary figures such as Brigadier General (Ret) of the US Army Jim Hutchens and his wife, well-known artist Pat Mercer Hutchens, as well as bankers, doctors, writers, journalists, businessmen, scientists from all over the world. For me personally, it is especially valuable and meaningful that all those people were thinking of you and wishing you well. So, in our Yenike Stipend this year, there is also a vast share of good will of many of our personal friends – and I am very happy and moved to convey their love and care to you today” – said Michael Rogatchi addressing the children at the Yenike Award Ceremony.

Co-founder and Chairman of The Rogatchi Foundation artist Michael Rogatchi awarding the orphans with the Yenike Stipend at the ceremony in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine

Michael and Inna Rogatchi were joined during that warm and friendly ceremony by many distinguished friends and colleagues from Ukraine, Europe and the USA.

Among the speakers at the ceremony there was the director of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community Zelig Brez and director of the international educational Jewish organisation Tsivot Hashem and director of the New York Jewish Children’s Museum Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson.

Director of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community Zelig Brez (left) and director of Tsivit Hashem International Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson addressing the audience during The Rogatchi Foundation Yenike Stipend Award ceremony. June 2013

In his address, director of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community Zelig Brez emphasised the special role that co-founders of The Rogatchi Foundation played in the development of the concept and quality of education of Jewish children in Dnepropetrovsk. “It is important to remember that since the beginning of their interest and care for our children, Inna and Michael always put a special emphasis on the role of education in anyone’s and everyone’s life. I do remember vividly the hours that they spent with our children here infusing the interest to learn into them. It is quite important for us to remember that largely thanks to Inna and Michael’s personalities and their engaging way of sharing their views and convictions we here started to re-think the entire concept of our educational system and its concept, and it is largely thanks to the Rogatchis that today we have made this absolutely vital, in my opinion, turn from quite limited and narrowed educational concept and practices to the wide, sohisticated, modern way of deep and multi-layered education for our children. Thank you so very much, dear friends and patrons, Inna and Michael, for such gifted visioning and for your ever warm and ongoing support of our – and your – children here!”

In his speech, director of the international head-quarters of Tsivot Hashem Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminsonportrayed the close co-operation between the New York Jewish Children’s Museum and The Rogatchi Foundation which resulted from the close and special connections that both organisations have had with the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community and its Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzki. Rabbi Benjaminson who also leads the biggest in the world international Jewish educational organisation that was founded by Rebbe Schneerson, has emphasised that because of the fact that Dnepropetrovsk was the Rebbe’s native place, there had been no question for him on where to establish the head-quarter of Tsivot Hashem which would be responsible for all educational activities on the vast space of the former Soviet Union. Over more than two decades now, Tsivot Hasem has actively and consistently helped hundreds and by now, thousands of children and youth in both their Jewish and general education, and also in their lives in many various ways. “When people are asking me ‘how on the earth did I manage to get such people like Inna and Michael Rogatchi, famous artists and philanthropists, to support the New York Jewish Children’s Museum,’ I answer to all of them with two words only: ‘Rabbi Kaminetzki‘. He was the person who had inter-connected us, not only on a personal level, but also as soul-mates and colleagues. I feel that I have known this couple for 50 years at least; we have become very close colleagues and friends. And for me, it is only natural that they are supporting, for several years now, the children from the pansions which are curated and run by us, Tsivot Hashem. I am extremely glad to be present at this important ceremony, and to tell to all of you that thanks to our all inter-connected friendship, mutual understanding and commitments, the youth of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community, especially those in need, would always be supported and taken care of, by both Tsivot Hashem and our very special and dear friends Inna and Michael Rogatchi and their Foundation”.