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BGI Hornstein Graduate Students Traveled to Israel and a Sub-Group Went to Russia


All Hornstein Graduate Students traveled to Israel as part of the Hornstein curriculum Foster Seminar in Israel on Contemporary Jewish Life, January 2 - 11, 2011.    Three BGI Graduate Hornstein Fellows along with three other Hornstein Graduate students traveled to Moscow, Russia on January 12 - 16, 2011.

The trip to Moscow focused on aspects unique to Moscow and allowed the second year Hornstein Fellows to learn about the present-day Russian Jewish community within the context of its historical roots. They recognize that, to be effective and inclusive Jewish professional leaders -- in North America, Israel, and throughout the world - it is vital that they gain a strong appreciation of the unique cultural and religious perspective that Russian Jews bring to the conversation.  In the words of one trip participant who does not speak Russian:  "I wish to learn about the post-communist recovery of the Jewish community in Russia, the steps that led to the renaissance of Jewish life in Russia, and the future vision for the community in an era of post-immigration to Israel."

This may seem like a tall order in a 4-5 day visit, but the students assiduously prepared for the trip.  Among their preparatory steps, they read Gal Beckerman's new book, When They Come for Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, and through discussions with Professor Sarna about the history of the Russian Jewish community.  In addition, the sub-group of students went to Moscow directly from Israel to visit organizations which serve the Russian Jewish community.