On October 19th 2020, Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, was interviewed on the Radio “Echo of Moscow” where he spoke about “Smart J”, a modern educational project.
According to the Rabbi, the “Smart J” project is a new initiative which was launched only two years ago. The main idea was to generate demand in additional education for children who nowadays are permanently looking for anything new by using gadgets and computers.
That was how the idea was born to make an educational project using new technologies, which can provide an opportunity to children beyond the knowledge they receive in school, to acquire new skills and knowledge in those fields not included in the school curriculum or to enhance their knowledge in known subjects. Besides that, they will get a chance to share their ideas about what else would be attractive for them to explore.
About two years previously, the project working group developed the programme dealing with different aspects which might be of interest to children. The main objective of the programme is to give much more knowledge to kids than that gained in school. This project was agreed upon with the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs in Israel which not only endorsed the programme but found it very useful for Jewish communities.
There are about 15 kids in each educational group. The programme has both online and offline educational format. Moreover, there are some special early childhood development programmes which proceed to the next level. The classes help children to practise their skills in English, better understand and do their homework. The range of subjects is pretty wide – from science, IT technologies, robotics to music and sport. The programme aims to contribute to the development of their potential and talents. There were some circles for kids in the past in addition to the school classes but today there are a number of problems. Besides that, with the spread of coronavirus, is always aт infection risk.
Additionally, the children are asked to think about what would be interesting to them and if any subject or scientific direction is not included in the programme, there is the possibility to organise an additional course or training.
In addition to learning English, children can learn Hebrew and Jewish traditions. In general terms, one of the benefits of this programme is its flexibly, considering different kids’’ wishes.
The timetable provides for an average of roughly four to five hours’ learning per day. However, a child can choose how many hours are optimal. The programme itself is intended to involve children in the learning process to giving them maximum satisfaction.
Learning takes place on the tailor-made online educational platform. Initially, the project was designed for offline format in a place which enables the children to gather and to learn together. The technologies, in this case, were supposed to be used as an additional tool to provide access to the classes from any location. However, because of the current situation, we were compelled to move most of the programme’s blocks to online format.
In contrast to the standard school curriculum where all the children are offered the standardized set of knowledge on geography, mathemathics, history and other subjects, the main purpose of this project is to discover individual potential and abilities of each kid, to comprehend the child’s motivation and interest to those subjects and fields of study which can become their life’s work.
The “Smart J” project is made possible with support of its primary investor Ruslan Goryukhin. He has done as much as he could to support the project during the pandemic where the problem of transforming the programme into online format has become more acute. It is noteworthy that Ruslan Goryukhin not only provides financial support to the project, he has scrutinized the whole project’s concept to enable any child to acquire new knowledge and skills using distance learning with new technology. He finds the investment in education most profitable because a well-educated child today is a fully integrated member of society, in the future being capable to contributing to the development of other members of society, to create different useful initiatives, to lead business projects. Thanks to Mr. Goryukhin, the project, at a relatively young age, has broad geography. Smart J is being implemented in various cities of Russia, from St. Petersburg to Siberia as well as in some former republics of the Soviet Union such as Estonia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belorussia and Georgia. Such an educational center is being planned to be implemented in every city not only in Russia but also in former republics of the Soviet Union. The existing platform can be adjusted and integrated in other locations without requiring significant funding.
Ruslan Goryukhin – a short biography
Born on February 2, 1966 in Odessa, USSR
Ruslan Goryukhin is a prominent Russian businessman, philanthropist, the former president of the Russian Karate Federation Ashihara Kaikan. He also runs the Impuls Gunnery Club.
Ruslan spent his childhood in Odessa. Here he graduated from the middle school in 1982.
As for higher education, he studied at the Mechnikov National University and received a diploma in Management of Foreign Economic Activity in 2003.
From 1988 to 1997, he managed several companies operating in the light industry (Roskhim, Roteks 66, etc.).
From 1997 to 1998, he became the co-founder and the executive manager of the company “Kuznetskie Ferrosplavy”. Due to this experience, he managed to enter the market of suppliers working with the largest oil and gas enterprises of the Russian Federation.
Realizing the need for high-quality logistics in this area, Ruslan created an own logistics group that was working with such suppliers as Gazprom, Rosneft, Tatneft and other large companies.
From 2007 to 2013, Ruslan Goryukhin became the co-founder of “Promgazresurs Trading House” LLC. The company was specialized in supplying the large diameter pipes for the affiliated societies of Gazprom.
From 2008 to 2014, Goryukhin was appointed CEO of Stroygazmontazh (SGM). He left the company in 2014.
From 2013 to 2015, Ruslan led the “Rodnoy Gorod-Development” company. He left the company in 2015.
Since 2015 he mostly focuses on private investments and philanthropy.
His hobbies and activities are rock-climbing, hiking, tracking, the shooting range.