(FJC.ru) Classmates at the Ohr Avner Chabad Day School in Almaty, Kazakhstan, embarked on a bus trip that will follow the historic Great Silk Road into neighboring Uzbekistan. The journey, entitled "A Jew in Central Asia," retraces the route taken by Jewish traders for hundreds of years, as well as that taken by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, of righteous memory, the chief rabbi of Yetaterinoslav, Ukraine, during his Soviet imposed exile.

Schneerson, father of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, passed away while in exile. He is buried in Almaty.

The youngsters set out March 23. They will visit Jewish communities along the route, which winds from Almaty to Chimkent to Chi'ili to Turkestan, before crossing over into Uzbekistan and the cities of Tashkent and Samarkand. The students will return to Almaty from Samarkand by way of Tashkent.

"Such initiatives are one of the most effective informal methods of Jewish education," explained Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Shevach Zlatopolskiy, who is heading this project. "They help youngsters to realize their own identity and identification with the Jewish people, and gain an appreciation for their traditions and values through their own first-hand experiences."

This initiative was made possible through the financial support of Kulyash Altinbayeva, a regular community sponsor and founder of the local Chabad House Foundation.