& Minsk


 & Ukraine




Hornstein students walk to the POLIN Museum, 2017

In 2017, Hornstein students took a learning tour of Warsaw and Krakow in Poland with Prof. Len Saxe. 

Hornstein students visit Fania Brantsovsky in her home in Vilnius, FSU Seminar 2016

Hornstein students visit Fania Brantsovsky in her home in Vilnius during the 2016 FSU Seminar to Vilnius and Minsk. Read about their experience: Reflecting on Jewish Life in Vilnius and Minsk.

Seminar to the
 Former Soviet Union
 & other locations

The Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program and the Brandeis Genesis Institute (BGI) for Russian Jewry recognize the important role that Jews of Russian-speaking heritage play in the world-wide Jewish community.

To that end, between 2011 and 2016, the Hornstein Program and BGI collaborated to send second-year Hornstein students to an FSU country for a seven-day seminar to expose them to the rich history and vital perspective of Russian-speakers.

In 2017, with the sunsetting of BGI, we have expanded our horizons to include other locations that are home to the Jewish people. In 2017, with support from Brandeis University's Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry and the Center for German and European Studies, students went to Poland with Professor Len Saxe, and returned with a deeper appreciation and understanding of contemporary life for Polish Jews.

Second-year students have the option of participating in this week-long overseas seminar that is normally scheduled over the Brandeis winter vacation. Students interact with Jewish counterparts, attend talks by experts in the field, and participate in educational and historical tours.

Past destinations have included Warsaw and Krakow, Poland; Vilnius, Lithuania; Minsk, Belarus; Moscow, Russia; Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Uman, Belaya Tzerkov, and Odessa, Ukraine; and Kishinev, Moldova.

The goals of the seminar are to:

  • Achieve a better understanding of the contemporary Jewish communities—their current status, condition, and challenges.
  • Deepen understanding of Jewish history, including within the contexts of a region's general history and global Jewish history.
  • Acquire networks, insights, and examples of practice that can inform and impact students' future professional careers.

The seminar is an immersive, transformative experience. Click on the links below to learn more.

2017: Poland

2016: Vilnius & Minsk

2015: Belarus

2014: Moldova & Ukraine 

2013: Ukraine

2012: Ukraine

2011: Moscow