St Petersburg University is holding a youth festival “Diplomacy of peoples: Days of Israel in SPbU”. Without having to leave the city, students can have an excursion around Israel to see its ancient and contemporary sights and get to know the locals.

Formed in 2015 on the initiative of the students, the project “Diplomacy of peoples” introduces what the diplomacy is and contributes greatly to the partnership between the universities globally. “Our University is a sort of a nucleus of the best part of the society locally, nationally and globally, — said SPbU’s Deputy Rector for International Affairs Sergei Andrushin. — In SPbU, there are over 3,000 international students, and the events like this serve to support international students in their endeavours to get intellectually stimulating education and develop cultural dialogue in a dynamically changing world. It is a pleasure that it was initiated by students who are now encouraging and taking an active part in the project”.

Vice-Consul of the Consulate General of Israel in St. Petersburg and Director of Israeli Cultural Centre Jean Friedman-Stayer was grateful for being invited to the festival. “I am happy to be here today, as some students, when they were just freshmen, visited our centre and now they are responsible for a big festival, — said Ms Jean Friedman-Stayer. — In a week we are going to celebrate a 69th anniversary of the state of Israel's creation. The Days of Israel at SPbU, to my mind, is an excellent opportunity for students to get to know Israel, an incredibly vibrant and young  state, and have a virtual excursion of the country without having to leave in the oldest Russia’s university”.

For several years, the project “Diplomacy of peoples” has been providing an insight into the world’s cultures: the more we know other cultures, the more effective we can cooperate. The initiative was introduced by SPbU’s students Oskar Makushin, Aleksandr Belei and Dmitrii Aleksandorv. “Initially we were planning to show other cultures and promote cooperation and understanding between peoples, — said Oskar Makushin. — We had a Week of France and Week of Poland, and now we opt for Israel, as our countries have much in common. Our festival was visited by students from Mexico, Israel, Germany and other countries, and obviously our idea that peoples of various nationalities and backgrounds cooperate and understand each other can work”.

The festival also features a photo exhibition by Mikhail Kheifets who tells us about his cycling trip from St Petersburg to Israel and an exposition by an artist and author of children books Nakhum Gutman.

The festival’s programme also has a concert by the students of St Petersburg Mussorgsky College of Music and a performance of Arkady Khait’s “A Train to Happiness” made by Menahem School.