Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) is expanding its activities in Great Britain with significant grants to Moishe House and PJ Library, two of the most successful global entities engaging Jewish young adults and young families today.
Before joining forces with Genesis Philanthropy Group in the United Kingdom, both organizations enjoyed a successful partnership with GPG in other regions, including across North America and in the former Soviet Union for several years, meaningfully impacting the lives of thousands of young Jews.
“Since the inception of Genesis Philanthropy Group almost a decade ago, we have been hard at work with our partners in providing meaningful opportunities for strengthening of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews around the world,” said Ilia Salita, President and CEO of GPG. “Based on that experience, we now believe that many lessons we learned can be adapted to a wider global effort to strengthen Jewish communities via outreach, engagement and education of under-engaged young Jews, regardless of where their families come from or where they live today. We are confident that our long-standing partnerships with such innovative global organizations as Moishe House and PJ Library will help us effectively support Jewish communities in the United Kingdom – and beyond – in a thoughtful and impactful way.”
Through its eight-year partnership with Genesis, Moishe House has developed a successful global effort aimed at engaging young adults from the Russian-speaking Jewish community, with locations in more than 20 cities around the world, including North America, the Former Soviet Union, Germany, Israel and Australia.
As well as expanding activities in the existing Moishe House London in Willesden Green, the GPG grant will enable the opening of new locations in British capital, including one Moishe House for Russian-speaking Jews (RSJ), first-ever in Great Britain. The grant also will expand the number of hosted programs and events, with projected attendance of 4,500 young adults through more than 260 peer-led programs during the next 12 months.
Since 2012, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has been partnering with GPG to support communities in reaching and engaging Russian-speaking Jewish families with young children in the New York metro area, as well as in communities across North America. In December 2015, in partnership with GPG and other funders, PJ Library in Russian was launched as a Moscow-based pilot. This year, the Russian-language program will reach 7,000 children and their families in communities across Russia.
The newly announced grant will allow PJ Library to build on the successes that it had in the UK since launch in 2015, made possible with the support of Pears Foundation and others, and will enable the project to focus on hard-to-reach communities, families who are disconnected from organized Jewish life, whether they were born in the UK, speak Russian, come from Israel or elsewhere. Overall, the grant also seeks to achieve more than 25 percent annual growth in PJ Library’s British subscriber base. A concerted effort will be made to reach families residing outside of London in large and small communities, including Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool, Glasgow, Cambridge and others.
The announcement follows GPG’s support of Arbuzz Projects, an innovative cultural engagement initiative, which has been bringing Jewish programming to Russian-speaking families and children in London for the past two years. Also, Genesis Philanthropy Group produced acclaimed documentary trilogy Russian Jews and sponsored a successful run of the films in the London in 2016 and 2017. The trilogy was seen by diverse and, often, sold-out audiences across London and included in the program of the UK Jewish Film Festival for a series of screenings in Manchester. In 2017, with the support from GPG, the first-ever British event of Limmud FSU, a widely successful international learning experience for Russian-speaking Jews, took place just outside of London. It hosted more than 700 people from across the United Kingdom and from 22 other European countries.