Yad Vashem Hosts Conference on Judeo-Bolshevism

by Arik Elman On March 24, 2014, Yad Vashem hosted an international conference entitled "Judeo-Bolshevism": The Crystallization of an anti-Semitic Political Concept. The conference was made possible through the generous support of the Genesis Philanthropy Group and was dedicated to the exploration of roots and development of the one of most poisonous and pernicious myths that laid the ideological and psychological foundations of the Holocaust - the association of the Jewish people with Communist ideas and practices, as “proof” of their eternal enmity towards the “orderly” Christian society, based on traditional morals and property rights. Eight prominent scholars researching the issues of anti-Semitism and inter-ethnic relations from the US, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK and Israel took … [Read more...]

Asylum Arts International Jewish Artist Retreat Opens Today

Tirtzah Bassel, Airport In Security (detail), 10'x44', duct tape on wall, 2013

Unique retreat brings together top young Jewish Artists from around the world Garrison, New York, March 23, 2014 - Some 70 top young Jewish artists from around the world are gathering today in Garrison, NY for the second Asylum Arts International Jewish Artist Retreat. The unique networking and learning experience is intended to connect and empower Jewish artists around the world, ultimately to help cultivate an international community of Jewish artists. The retreat is organized by Asylum Arts, a global network of Jewish artists that has recently launched and aims to engage more people with Jewish ideas, identity and community through the vibrant Jewish and Israeli cultural landscapes. Asylum Arts supports contemporary Jewish culture worldwide, bringing greater exposure to artists and … [Read more...]

Brandeis University Launches Leadership Incubator for Russian-speaking Jewish Communal Professionals

The Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, in partnership with the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, has announced the launch of a professional development program for Russian-speaking Jewish communal professionals. With support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator (BJLI) will host a 12-month fellowship for Russian-speaking professionals who work at Jewish communal organizations in the United States and Canada. The program, designed for individuals with one to five years of professional experience, will help to develop the skill-set, knowledge, and strong network of peers that is critical for professional advancement within the North American Jewish community. “To date, Russian … [Read more...]

Russian Jewish Children Eligible for Camp Chi Scholarships

Russian Jewish children from 4th-11th grade, with at least one Jewish parent born in the former Soviet Union, can now receive scholarships to attend JCC Camp Chi, the Midwest’s premier Jewish overnight camp, thanks to a grant from Foundation for Jewish Camp with generous support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group. The grant’s purpose is to engage new campers and staff from Russian-speaking families in the summer of a lifetime at JCC Camp Chi. Campers gain increased self-confidence, pride in Jewish heritage, and life-long friendships. . JCC Camp Chi’s popular overnight program features an unmatched opportunity for youth to explore and develop new skills and enjoy unparalleled activities, in a safe, nurturing environment. Russian-speaking staff will receive training and ongoing support to create … [Read more...]

SEFER @ 21: FSU Jewish Studies Celebrated

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Twenty Years of SEFER
Victoria Mochalova, Rabbi Berl Lazar, and Mika Chlenov speak at the SEFER conference. Click to enlarge. Victoria Mochalova, Rabbi Berl Lazar, and Mika Chlenov speak at the SEFER conference; courtesy JDC.

As the world was readying for the Olympic games in Sochi, SEFER - the international conference on Judaic studies - celebrated its 21st year last week, a testament to the staying power and importance of the former Soviet Union’s Jewish revival. Held in Moscow, the event brought together more than 200 Jewish scholars from Russia and abroad and serves as a platform for study and knowledge exchange between established scholars and researchers and cultivates the younger generation of scholars who later become Jewish studies specialists in the FSU. Today SEFER is supported by the Russian Jewish Congress; the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, whose chairman Mikhail Chlenov was an official feature speaker; the Genesis Philanthropy Group; the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund; and the American Jewish Joint … [Read more...]

FSU Birthright Participants Celebrate in Jerusalem


800 Taglit-Birthright Israel young adults from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus celebrated yesterday at an Israeli Street Party designed by Taglit-Birthright Israel and the Genesis Philanthropy Group. As part of the event, the participants joined workshops on Israeli culture, listened to motivational speeches and attended a dance party in Jerusalem. Each participant attended one of the eight workshops offered: Israeli theater, dance, communication, song, improv and acting, cooking, art and design by leading Israeli cultural figures. photos by Ilanit Cohen … [Read more...]

SF-based Jewish Community Federation Announces Impact Grants to Russian Jewish Community

The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (the Federation) have announced nine new grantees through its Russian Jewish Community Impact Grants Initiative (IGI). These organizations were selected by a delegation of Bay Area Russian Jewish Community leaders, formed through the IGI - the Federation’s pioneering prototype for community-engaged grant-making. The awardees, listed below, will each receive between $2,000 and $7,000 in funding from the Federation to help grow the capacity and efficiency of their operations. The grantees selected were: AlephBet School, Congregation Ner Tamid in San Francisco: Kosher Food lessons with Aleph Bet School are designed for children ages 4-12. The program will teach Judaism and Kashrut to children through a … [Read more...]

It’s All About Sarah: Creating a Stronger Connection Between RSJs and Jewish Camp

by Cheryl Fishbein "After my first summer at Havurah, I felt connected to a great community. Havurah instilled a pride in me of my Jewish heritage, and helped me to understand it alongside my Russian heritage.” Sarah Benenson Sarah Benenson is 17 years old. She grew up in Glen Gardener, NJ with her parents who emigrated there from the former Soviet Union 23 years ago. Like so many of her peers in North America, Sarah grew up with a clear understanding that she is Jewish, and an understanding of the anti-semitism that prompted her parents to leave Russia, but without much Jewish practice or engagement with the Jewish opportunities around her. Then in 2010, through a friend of a friend, she heard about Havurah - a unique program for teens from the North American Russian Jewish community at Camp Tel … [Read more...]