Engaging Russian-Speaking Jewry


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Engaging Russian-Speaking Jewry

  1. 1. “Camp made me feel more Today, most young Jewish communal leaders and professionals in the FSU began connected to my local Jewish their Jewish experience as a Jewish Agency camper or counselor. community and I want to learn Some 20,000 children and teenagers take even more about my Jewish part in Jewish Agency youth club activities throughout the FSU. heritage and culture. ” -- Ilya, 17, camper from Yekaterinburg, Across North America young Russian- speaking Jewish émigrés are connecting together to their Jewish heritage through Engaging Russia exciting educational retreats. MASA/Israel Journey inspires young people from the FSU to spend a semester or year Russian- learning, volunteering and working in Israel. Speaking Jewry Find out how you can make an impact: From Russia to Ukraine, Tel: +972.2.620.2633 v 212.339.6048 E-mail: ask@jafi.org e ask@jewishagency.org Uzbekistan to Belarus, the www.jewishagency.org Jewish Agency ignites the spark of identity at summer The Jewish Agency is funded by The Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod, major Jewish communities and federations, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, foundations and donors from Israel and around the world. and winter camps.
  2. 2. With over two million Russian- For many of the young people from the FSU and Youth Clubs from all over the world who want to participate in speaking Jews around the world, The Jewish Agency operates youth clubs for tens of a long term Israel program, financial need remains the Jewish Agency reconnects the thousands of children and teenagers throughout the the biggest obstacle. MASA provides a significant next generation to the rich historical, FSU. These dynamic clubs harness the connection scholarship for these participants, giving them the made in summer and winter camps and bolster Jewish opportunity to spend a semester or year in Israel on cultural and religious legacy of their identity. Club activities are diverse and range from any number of academic, volunteer and internship people with a diversified network of drama, music, and sport to folk-dancing and movie- programs. This encounter with Israel is a powerful educational programs and services making, all with a focus on Jewish and Israeli themes. Jewish-identity builder. To date, nearly 10 percent A large number of young people become actively of the expected 9,000 annual MASA participants that spans four continents. engaged in their Jewish communities as a result of are from the FSU. their club involvement, and go on to participate in Range of MASA scholarships (depending on country Birthright Israel and MASA/Israel Journey. of origin and program length): up to $10,000. Average cost for one youth club per year: $40,000 Summer and Winter Camps in the Former Soviet Union Programs for Russian-Speaking Hebrew Language Ulpanim and Jews in North America Jewish Agency summer and winter camps are the Basic Jewish Literacy The Jewish Agency is partnering with local Jewish single most important entry point into Jewish life for children and teenagers in the former Soviet Hebrew language ulpanim were the vanguard of community organizations to reach out to the “1.5 Union (FSU). Each year, these camps introduce Jewish education in the FSU, even before the fall of generation” of young people who grew up in North thousands of young people to their Jewish heritage the Iron Curtain. Over the past decade, the ulpanim America, yet still absorb Russian culture from their and connects them to Israel. Here they meet other have integrated both Hebrew language learning parents and grandparent who immigrated from Jewish youth, discover pride in their heritage and and Jewish cultural literacy. Hundreds of thousands the FSU. These young adults are for the most part become involved in Jewish educational activities of Jews, young and old, have connected to Jewish unfamiliar with their Jewish heritage. such as youth clubs, Sunday schools and Jewish history and traditions through the ulpanim. Over 13,000 students study with a team of 300 teachers at Through programs which include leadership holiday observance. Thousands have been trained 140 ulpanim throughout the FSU. training, educational retreats and engagement with as camp counselors and gone on to run year-round Israel, these young people explore and integrate Jewish activities and become community leaders. Average annual cost per ulpan class: $7,000 their North American-Russian-Jewish identities, From there many go to Israel through programs learn about their Jewish heritage and become such as Birthright Israel and MASA/Israel Journey. MASA/Israel Journey involved in the wider Jewish community. Average cost per camper per MASA, the Hebrew word for “Journey,” is a strategic Average cost per program: seven-day session: $924 partnership between the Jewish Agency , the Leadership training: $80,000 Government of Israel and global partners, that Educational retreats: $100,000 facilitates long-term educational and experiential Russian-speaking emissary: $120,000 Israel programs for 18-30 year-olds that forge a life- long connection to Israel and the Jewish people.