gpg Cross-Regional 1

International Grants

Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry

Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry

The Brandeis Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI) was launched in 2009 and is part of Brandeis University, the largest and best-known non-sectarian Jewish university in North America.

The grant supports the following initiatives at Brandeis University:

Leadership and Community Engagement

  • BGI Fellowships: Scholarships for outstanding Russian-speaking Jewish undergraduate applicants to Brandeis University, who, upon admission to the University, participate in BGI-sponsored events and undertake year-long community projects. Graduates from the program become effective leaders in the Russian-speaking Jewish community.
  • Emerging Young Adult Leadership: program designed to engage Russian-speaking Jews in their late 20s and early 30s in the life of the Jewish community in Boston and encourage them to take lay leadership roles at major Jewish non-profit organizations.
  • BIMA/Genesis: Scholarships to bring academically advanced and artistically-gifted Russian-speaking Jewish participants from North America, Israel and the FSU to Genesis and BIMA, month-long summer programs on the Brandeis University campus. Students take on an intensive academic course of their choosing, participate in a vast variety of co-curricular activities, and engage in community outreach. Beginning in the fall of 2010, BGI implemented a yearlong follow-up program that includes monthly webinars on a variety of academic topics and regional weekend retreats and reunions.
  • The organization and implementation of university-wide events on the basis of the BGI, specifically developed to highlight Russian Jewish heritage, as well as to encourage interaction between the Russian-speaking Jewish community and other Jewish communities in North America.
  • Recruitment of Russian-speaking Jewish students to all programs under the BGI umbrella, as well as outreach to Russian-speaking communities in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Strengthening the relationship between BGI and other departments, programs, and administrative offices within Brandeis University.
  • Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership: Scholarships for the graduate students who pursue the advanced degree in Jewish Professional Leadership to go to the field trip to Former Soviet Union, where they explore the local Jewish community and its heritage.

Research and Scholarship

  • Scholars in Residence: Provides Russian-speaking scholars from North America and abroad the opportunity to be in residence at Brandeis University, while working on significant projects in the field of Russian Jewish studies.

Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator

  • Professional development program beginning in 2015 for Russian-speaking Jewish professionals in North America. The 12-month in-service fellowship, which includes three seminars and a trip to Israel, will have a direct impact on both the Russian-speaking and the American Jewish communities by nurturing a cadre of effective communal professionals, fortified by superior management skills, Jewish knowledge, a systematic understanding of the Russian and American Jewish communities, and a commitment to the future of the Jewish people.

Funding for this program is provided by Genesis Philanthropy Group, along with Brandeis University and other generous funders.

Short Term Goals and Objectives

  • Attract Russian-speaking Jews with a record of academic and artistic success to attend the Genesis or BIMA summer programs and become BGI fellows.
  • Engage fellows in Jewish programming they find interesting and challenging.
  • Create and implement a platform for a variety of events and activities that bridge the gap between the Russian-speaking Jewish community and the mainstream North American Jewish community.

Long Term Goals and Objectives

  • Develop a cadre of future professional and lay leaders in the Russian-speaking Jewish community.
  • Introduce program graduates into the larger Jewish community empowered by appreciation of their Russian Jewish heritage.
  • Encourage program graduates to take on leadership roles within the Russian Jewish community, as well as create professional and social ties within the larger Jewish community.
  • Have program graduates disseminate knowledge of Jewish history, culture, and religion within the Russian-speaking Jewish community.