FELLOWS COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECTS
BGI COMMUNITY SELECTED PROJECTS & EVENTS
Babi Yar and the Rose Art Museum: Things Worth Seeing...Read More
Yuri Foreman: Immigrant, boxer and would-be rabbi...Read More
Russian-American author discusses ‘Jews in her house'...Read More
Klionsky paints the Russian Jewish experience...Read More
Pictures of Resistance...Read More
Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI) Fellows are honored to have the opportunity to interact with and positively affect the Brandeis community, as well as other Jewish communities—locally, nationally, and abroad.
BGI strives to impact the university, external organizations, and various agencies through academic and cultural events, community outreach projects, and information sharing. Below you will find examples of the impact by the BGI Program and Fellows' on the Russian Jewish community.
IMPACT THROUGH COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECTS
BGI Fellows contributed to the diversity of the Brandeis community in the spring semester with student-organized first Retreat-Plus titled "What I Think You Think of Me". The goal of this retreat was to create a forum in which the dialogue between Jewish communities could begin. To foster a stronger connection between the Russian-Jewish community and the greater Jewish community at Brandeis.
A second student organized spring 2012 BGI-Plus retreat will include discussion and information sharing about contemporary Israeli society, the Israeli Russian-speaking community, and other relevant topics, including history, culture, and peoplehood.
BGI Fellows are continuing the preservation of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants’ history while bridging generational gaps within the community. Last academic year BGI Fellow were involved in legendary and meaningful life changing community outreach Oral History Project. They collected oral histories and photographs about Soviet life, the immigration process, and life as an immigrant in the United States from some of the oldest members of the Russian-Jewish community in the United States who reside in the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC). These stories were compiled along with photographs into two hard copy books (one in Russian, the other in English).
This academic year BGI Fellows will continue to work with the HRC residents in a partnership with the Hias MyStory project, collecting stories and photographs about the Refusenik and Let My People Go movement.
Tikkun Olam BGI Fellows Project which will focus on giving back by infusing the Russian speaking and other communities with tangible help and a sense of hope. The options under consideration include volunteering at a soup kitchen, running food drives or teaming up with Waltham group, which has many volunteer opportunities.
Plans are under way to create an event designed to foster and improve ties between the greater Jewish and Asian-American communities of Brandeis and greater Boston. This event will raise awareness and mutual respect/cooperation between these two American minorities that exert a disproportionate influence on the American society and culture.
“A look at the trifecta” highlighting Russian/Soviet art. This art between borders event will highlight Russian Art, and a discussion about experiences between the United States the Soviet Union and Israel.
BGI Fellows will organize a Purim carnival for children with Rabbi Dan Rodkin at the Jewish Russian Center and Synagogue of Greater Boston. The daylong celebration will focus on teaching the Russian speaking Jewish children about Purim while also being fun.
An educational fundraising semi-formal event in collaboration with the Russian Jewish Community Foundation (RJCF), will be held in April 2012 to raise funds for the children of Sderot (camp project). This camp, allows children of Sderot (small town in Israel on the border of the Gaza strip) to experience two weeks of peace from the constant bombing that fills their everyday life.
IMPACT THROUGH LECTURES AND CULTURAL EVENTS
BGI Programming has hosted prominent leaders focused on a many area of the Russian Jewish world, inlcuding authors, artists, distinguished faculty and even a boxing celebrity studying to be a Rabbi. Below you will find a few examples of the programs we organized since BGI was formed.
The most recent lecture titled "What's Russian about Russian Jews?" was delivered by Professor Olga Litvak sparked a meaningful and enthusiastic discussion.
Other examples includes "There Are Jews in My House: A Reading and Conversation with Lara Vapnyar" who won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers. A symposium highlighting the mass murder of Russian Jewry through the eyes of a painter - Faces of Babi Yar in Felix Lembersky's Art: Presence and Absence.
Yosef Begun, KGB Case No. 42, joined us for a screening of the documentary autobiography film, "Through Struggle You Will Gain Your Rights". BGI Fellow Julian Olidort treated the BGI and Brandeis community to his grandfather's art - Painting the Face of Russian Jewry: The Art and Journey of Marc Klionsky.
Please click here for additional information about our Lectures, BGI in the News, Authors and other Events.
IMPACT THROUGH NEWS
BGI Fellows and Faculty Advisors activities received coverage in numerous newspaper articles and through interactions with communities within Boston, United States and worldwide. Below you will find a few examples of the news items that feature BGI.
Six BGI undergraduate fellows traveled to Ukraine where they entered the complex world of the Jewish past and built connections to contemporary Jewish communities in the first week of June 2011.
BGI Fellows create and publish a unique scrapbook "Individual Lives, Common Story" as part of their oral history project at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.
BGI Fellor Avraham Eli Tukachinsky '11 created a Passover Haggadah, uniquely designed for children from Russian speaking families.
The Jewish Daily Forward published Professor Jonathan Sarna's article - Returning to Moscow: A
Place for Building, Not Fleeing.
Please click here for additional information about BGI in the news.