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Grants in the Former Soviet Union

A Living Jewish Library

A Living Jewish Library

In 2011, a group of activists known as the Ukrainian Union of Jewish Students launched a project, A Living Library in the Kiev metropolitan area to disseminate knowledge about Jewish culture and traditions. It is based on an innovative method developed by Stop the Violence, a Danish organization, and unfolds as dialogues in which some people act as "living books" and others as "readers," with one side sharing its cultural experiences with the other. Leading Jewish activists, musicians, writers, TV and radio hosts, jewelers, political analysts, and other professionals became "living books" throughout the project. To date, the group has organized 14 "living libraries" in 10 Ukrainian cities.

The project is supported jointly by the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine.

This grant is a part of Grassroots annual competition, organized by Genesis Philanthropy Group and UJA-Federation of New York. The goal of the competition is to discover and support the best local initiatives aimed at the revival of Jewish identity, the preservation of cultural and historical heritage and the development of socially active Jewish communities. 

Goals and Objectives

  • Create a process by which Jewish culture, history and traditions are disseminated by participants who are highly knowledgeable and/or experts in their topics, to young Ukrainians, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
  • Test the innovative method of "living libraries" for popularization of Jewish culture in the region.
  • Promote the "living libraries" method to Ukraine's Jewish organizations.

Current Grants

Past Grants