The 'Freilehe Kinder' festival was organized by the 'Mitsva' association of Jews in Kazakstan, with the support of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, the regional branch of the World Jewish Congress.
All activities on the first day were implemented by counselors (madrichim), and this year's program centered around a imaginary 'Jewish Airline'. Participants were invited to board the festival aircraft, while madrichim acted as representatives of travel agencies and their clients were invited on a tour of the Jewish world.
The head of the Jewish community of Kazakhstan, member of the Presidium of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress and Council of Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, Alexandr Baron, said in his welcoming speech: "Jews believe that 12 is a special number, a symbol of completeness. This year completed the first twelve-year cycle of the festival."
Baron also read a message from President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on the occasion of the anniversary of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and awarded directors of Kazakhstan's Jewish community centers (heseds) with medals and certificates for their significant contributions to the strengthening of harmony in the country, and ensuring the unity of the people of Kazakhstan.
Separately, Baron met with US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Rabbi David Saperstein, who was in Kazakhstan for talks. Baron told the story of the formation, development and activity of the Jewish community of Kazakhstan, described the projects and programs and charitable activities carried out by the community.
Baron stressed that Kazakhstan is a unique example in the world where than 130 different national, religious and ethnic groups live in peace and harmony.