Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Jewish Expo Completes Tour of France

On its most recent tour abroad, the Jewish Expo spent several months in France, attracting more than 10,000 Jewish schoolchildren from all parts of the country. Now in its 10th year, the Expo, a project of the Shluchim Office, has traveled to Europe, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and 40 U.S. states, reaching more than one million Jewish children. An interactive, multimedia Jewish museum with hands-on activities, the Expo features seven narrated exhibits which take viewers on a journey through 2,000 years of Jewish history beginning with the story of creation. A Torah “Concentration” gameshow that challenges participants’ Jewish knowledge; arts and crafts workshops; and a screened musical on Jewish holiday celebrations, are all packed into two and half hours of a spellbinding experience. “Children with little previous exposure to Judaism come away from the Expo eager to learn more about their Jewish identity. This is an accomplishment of immeasurable value,” explains Rabbi Moshe Pinson of the Shluchim Office. The Shluchim Office is a division of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Lubavitch. Designed to travel, the Expo is set up on location in no more than 5 hours and requires 10,000 square feet of space. For each foreign language tour, the entire Expo is professionally translated. “It is a costly project,” says Rabbi Berl Goldman who was one of the creators of the Expo, “but Shluchim worldwide appreciate its tremendous value as an educational tool for their communities.” Indeed, the letters that pour into the Shluchim Office after each tour are some indication of the projects positive impact. The Shluchim Office is now considering implementing substantive additions to the Expo. “We are hoping,” says Rabbi Moshe Shemtov, who traveled with the Expo to France, “to incorporate many of the Living Legacy Workshops.” Shemtov is referring to the whole range of “factories” that bear the Chabad –Lubavitch trademark and have become a phenomenon in their own right: the shofar making factory, the matzah bakery, Tefillin workshops, the Chanukah olive press, and others which have been critical in facilitating tremendous awareness of Jewish holidays.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Study in France

As many as 140,000 International students study at institutes in France every year. Its also growing in popularity among Indian students. Education in France can be affordable as it is subsidised by the State. It is also not necessary to know French for post-graduate study in France as subject areas like Management and engineering are increasingly being taught in English in more and more institutes.
There are two different type of educational institutes you can choose from. Universities and "Grandes Ecoles" ( Described as Competitive Institutes). For further details visit
There are about 87 universities and over 300 Grandes Ecoles in France. A large number of students go to universities which offer general courses and professional courses. The universities cover all disciplines and trains students for research.The Grandes Ecoles take in a lower number of students after a rigorous selection process and offer courses that specializes students in areas that have a direct career applicability. These can be either Public or private institutions.The application ProcedureThe education systems in India and France are very different. You will have to apply to universities and let them decide on the applicability of your previous academic background and experience to the course you are interested to study in. It would be useful for you to visit The French Information Resource Centre at the Embassy of France in Delhi or at the Alliances Francaises in your city to get help in selection of courses and Institutes suitable for your background. For admission to a university, after you have been advised by one of the French Information Resource Centres, you should directly contact the selected university to get a provisional admission form, fill out the form and send the same alongwith attachments to the university. The university will decide on the recognition of your academic background based on the recommendations of an education committee and will decide at which level you can qualify to enter. You will receive a letter of confirmation from the university, which can be used to apply for a long-stay student resident visa.For admission to a "Grande Ecole", you have to appear for a competitive exam - "Concours". The exam is held in France for which you can apply and obtain a special three-month competitive exam visa (visa concours). You will be entitled to a residence permit to take the course you have been admitted to after you clear the exam.When to apply?The academic year in France starts in September or October. Some institutions may also enroll students for spring, summer or winter semesters as well. You can ask for application forms from the universities or from the French Embassy in Delhi between November 15 and January 15. The completed application forms alongwith all attachments must reach the university by 1st February.How much it costs?Tuition FeeTuition fees at universities are very nominal and can vary between FF 800 to FF 4500 per annum. At the Grandes Ecoles the fee ranges between FF 25000 to FF 100000 per annum. Living ExpensesAccommodation - FF 800 to FF 2500 per monthFood - FF 850 to FF 1000 at university restaurants per monthHealth care - FF 2500 to FF 5000 per yearMiscellaneous (transportation and leisure) - FF 500 per monthThe above costs are indicative and can vary from person to person and between universities.Part-time work during studyYou can work for upto 20 hours a week against a permission to do so.Visa RequirementsThe following documents are required to obtain a student visa.- A valid passport- Certificate of registration from a French University/Grandes Ecoles- Proof of having sufficient resources to cover expenses for one year of stay. Please check the exact amount to show from the French Consulate. For further details visit