Global Summit for Russian-Jewish Community Initiators Opens Today

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Some 60 young Russian Jewish professionals from around the world will gather in suburban New York today for “Platforma-International Summit for RSJ Community Initiators,” a three-day global meeting of Russian-Jewish community activists. Platforma brings together representatives of the many growing Russian-speaking Jewish communities around the world, to ensure their voices help shape the greater Jewish dialogue.

Platforma participants are mostly from the U.S. but also hail from Israel, Canada, Germany, Poland and Ukraine. Many of these community initiators are young volunteers, in their 20s and 30s, who are not affiliated with any organization and have never been formally trained in community organizing. These young Russian Jews have already launched a series of grassroots projects, including “Generation 1.5,” the voice of young Russian-speaking Jews in Israel; “R Generation,” and “Mishmash” in U.S. cities such as New York and San Francisco. Coming from a diverse array of fields, from the arts to business, Platforma will give these activists a chance to learn, network and form new alliances with other young Russian Jews.

“We view Platforma as a source of inspiration for Russian Jewish peers, who are actively engaged in community work all over the world. This is a unique opportunity for all of us to learn from each other and to voice the young generation’s narrative from a place of ownership and pride,” said Anna Vainer and Alexandra Belinski, Platforma co-founders.

Platforma was created as part of Schusterman Connection Points, an initiative launched by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The Platforma Summit is in partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group.