Committee Reflections

"This April, the Brandeis-Genesis Institute hosted the BGI+ Retreat, where BGI Fellows invited their Russian Jewish and American Jewish friends for a day of mutual growth and learning. The Fellows and their friends explored Russian Jewish culture and history, and engaged in dialogue that exposed students from Russian Jewish and American Jewish communities to each other's values, ideas and social histories. Activities included a professor lecture, screening of the 2008 documentary film, "Refusenik" followed by discussion, various identity games and a final collaborative art project. " Julian Olidort.

"Planning the retreat was a challenge at times because there was simply so much we wanted to cover in one day. I am really happy with how everything came together because it was a good blend of conversation and activities." Victor Zhivich.

"I think people approached unfamiliar territory with a wide open heart and mind. Some of our topics were extremely personal, and everybody who attended, now matter their personal background, was there to learn and grow." Jacob Chatinover.

"I believe that the retreat went according to plan for the most part and was very good in letting the students reflecting on what they learned in each session. The pluses learned a lot about the culture of Russian Jews and were very happy with the Retreat's proceedings. I was very pleased with the food as well; thanks Lisa!" - Danny Shpolyansky.

What I Think You Think of Me

Held Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry held its first Plus Retreat - What I Think You Think of Me - on Sunday, April 3, 2011. Undergraduate BGI fellows and their peers from Brandeis were invited to participate in a range of discussions, interactive sessions and workshops on issues concerning Russian Jewish identity, Jewish history and the relations between the Russian and American Jewish communities.

The retreat was organized by a group of BGI fellows - Julian Olidort, Julia Rabkin, Victor Zhivich, Daniel Shpolyanksy, Monica Pevzner  and Judah Khaykin , as well as two Brandeis University students - Mitch Berkowitz and Jacob Chatinover .

The retreat provided an excellent learning opportunity for the BGI fellows and Brandeis students. The program included a presentation by Professor Dubinina, screening of the Refusenik movie and a range of creative workshops and interactive sessions.