In a ground-breaking initiative, PresenTense is taking their pioneering program of training early-stage entrepreneurs to launch low-cost, high-impact ventures, to Moscow. In partnership with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Moscow expands the already successful PresenTense program to not only a 3rd country, but a 3rd continent, marking them clearly as a global organization. For JDC, this initiative is an addition to established programs aimed at supporting and sustaining various Jewish renewal initiatives in the former Soviet Union.
With the Moscow fellowship program, PresenTense will utilize their existing six month program model, yet adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of the Russian community. As an example, Russia is in the early stages of adopting a civil society structure and concepts that Americans take for granted are still new to the Russian community (both Limmud FSU and Hillel have successfully incorporated these into their local programming).
Michael Podberezin, PresenTense’s Jerusalem-based Eurasia programs director told eJP, “Our goal is to help provide answers to young Jews in Moscow who seek Jewish identity and connection but are not finding them within existing structures. Building on JDC’s platform, PresenTense will provide the tools for participants to answer the questions themselves.”
For Russia this is ground-breaking. The country today is at the center of a global trend of coaching, mentoring and training young entrepreneurs. By adding a Jewish component, PresenTense will be assisting local Moscowvites create grassroots answers to local challenges.
A steering committee will be in place by the end of September with project launch planned for early 2012.