Undergraduate Fellows’ Outreach Projects


Each undergraduate fellow of the BGI undertakes a community service project, either on campus or off campus, which connects them with the Jewish and/or Russian Jewish community. Here are brief descriptions of the undergraduate projects as of Fall 2011.

2011-2012 Outreach Projects


Esther Tandetnik ’13 and Danny Shpolyansky ’14

Esther and Danny plan to organize a one day seminar for BGI fellows and their fellows classmates at Brandeis.  The program will include discussions about Israeli contemporary society, geo-political situation in the Middle East, as well as other important aspects of the modern state of Israel, including its history, culture, and people.  Students will have an opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions and creative workshops led by the organizers of the event as well as by professional guest speakers.

Dan Koch ’13, Allan Volf ’15, Liz Zharovsky '15, Julia Zaltsman '15, and Meir Alelov '15

Dan, Allan, Liz, Julia and Meir will be collecting oral histories from the elderly residents of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC), focusing on the Refusenik movement and those who directly and indirectly participated in it.   They will be conducting interviews, collecting photographs and creating a scrapbook.   This project allows the residents to feel that their lives are important not only to their families but also to the generations of Russian speaking Jews and that a world- renown university is interested in focusing on their lives, and also the lives of their co-residents and friends.

Dina Kapengut ’14 and Victor Zhivich ’13

Dina and Victor will be organizing a Mitsvah Day – a day of volunteering and community service for RSJ students at Brandeis. This day would involve multiple volunteering opportunities that benefit Russian Jewish community and broader Jewish community in the Boston area.

Eleazar Jacobs ’13 and Freddy Rosensheyn ’13

Eleazar and Freddy plan to create an event designed to foster and improve ties between the Jewish and the Asian-American communities of Boston.  This event will raise awareness and mutual respect and cooperation between these two American minorities that exert a sizeable influence on American society and culture.  They hope that the outcome of this event will increase knowledge and tolerance.

Nera Lerner ’12

Nera will curate an event with Boris Groys, a renowned art critic and media theorist, that highlights contemporary Russian art and explores its Jewish elements. She will invite the arts community of Brandeis to hear and learn about Russian and Soviet Art, which is not as well renowned as the film and literature of the Russian school, and about the many interesting developments that were created throughout Russian Jewish artistic history.

Julia Blanter ’13 and Lena Vaynberg ’13

Julia and Lena 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 Russian speaking Jewish children about Purim traditions and Jewish history while enjoying one of the most joyous Jewish holidays.

Kaina Gaft '14 and Lev Gorfinkel

Karina and Lev will organize an educational fundraising semi-formal event in collaboration with the Russian Jewish Community Foundation (RJCF) for the children of Sderot camp project.  The funds will allow the children of Sderot (a small town in Israel on the border of the Gaza strip) to experience two weeks of engaging educational activities, sports and fun.  The goal of this project is to educate Brandeis and others in the Boston area college community about Sderot and the RJCF's initiative in Israel as well as to raise funds to support the project in Sderot.