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Grants in the Former Soviet Union

Family Heirlooms and Jewish Memory

Family Heirlooms and Jewish Memory

At the beginning of 2010, Petersburg Judaica, a non-profit partnership for the study of Jewish cultural heritage, initiated a project called Family Heirlooms and Jewish Memory. The project was supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group as a winner of the Grassroots competition. Its goal is to turn Jewish family heirlooms into communal property.

Family Heirlooms and Jewish Memory seeks and researches artifacts of historical value kept by Jewish families. These artifacts are awarded the status of Jewish relics at the completion of research. The project attracted young adults between the ages of 23 and 35 to conduct research, who interviewed artifact owners to collect information about the objects. The project culminated in an exhibition of Jewish family relics at the State Museum of History of Religion. Video and audio recordings of the interviews were an integral part of the exhibition. The exhibition was attended by an estimated 8,000 people from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Perm, Chelyabinsk and Riga, as well as from Great Britain and Germany.

Another outcome of the project was a documentary featuring footage of the exhibited objects and interviews. The updated documentary with new materials serves as a virtual exhibition.

The project was supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Joint Distribution Committee.

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

  • Preserve and transmit the generational memory of Jewish families.
  • Popularize the study of Jewish heritage among a wider audience.
  • Strengthen the Jewish identity of young members of the St. Petersburg Jewish community and to engage them in community life.

Current Grants

Past Grants