In a first initiative of its kind, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) and JDC Entwine – the growing younger adult platform of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) – have announced a partnership to develop and launch the first global Jewish service program uniquely crafted for Russian-speaking Jewish young people. The partnership will increase the number of Russian-speaking Jewish college students and young professionals involved in JDC Entwine’s overseas Insider Service Trips and Learning Networks in North America. Recognizing the critical importance of the next generation of Russian-speaking Jews in the future of Jewish community life, the initiative is geared toward engaging this demographic with global Jewish issues, from Jewish identity-building to ending Jewish poverty to connecting Jewish communities globally.
“We are excited to see the ever-increasing role that volunteerism and service play in engaging younger generations of Russian-speaking Jews,” says Ilia Salita, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group. “Accordingly, Genesis Philanthropy Group is also increasing our support of organizations that engender such activism. As a leader in this field, Entwine is a natural partner in widening the opportunities available, and we are thrilled to work together to bring more Russian-speaking Jews to learn from and impact Jewish communities around the world.”
The partnership enables JDC Entwine to develop a cadre of Russian-speaking Jewish young adult leaders in the JDC Entwine network, encouraging them to become more represented and integrated in the larger movement of young Jews. The initiative will strengthen these young people’s commitment to global Jewish responsibility, while also developing greater awareness of Russian-speaking Jewish life and culture within the Entwine network.
JDC, with the support from GPG, has hired a Project Coordinator to develop and implement the Russian speaking-specific overseas Insider Service Trips and Learning Network events. The partnership will target and include dozens of young Russian-speaking Jews in JDC Entwine trips, volunteering hundreds of hours in a global Jewish community where JDC operates. The partnership will also exponentially increase the number of participants and programs focused on Russian-speaking Jewish life or led by Russian-speaking young adult leaders in five key Entwine Learning Network cities that have a concentrated population of Russian-speaking Jewish young adults.
The first Insider Service Trips are focusing on Jewish life in Argentina and China. The first cohort of students traveling to Argentina just returned last week, and young professionals will go to Argentina in August and then China in November. Local Learning Network programming has already taken place in New York City and Washington, DC, with future events planned for Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.