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International Grants

Conference on the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora

Conference on the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University focuses on interdisciplinary research and the study of Russia, as well as its surrounding countries. In 2011, Genesis Philanthropy Group supported the Conference on the Contemporary Russian Speaking Jewish Diaspora, an event organized and promoted by the Davis Center. The Conference was held at Harvard University in November 2011. It examined the impact of the Russian-speaking Jewish Diaspora on contemporary cultural, social, and political life in the countries where it is largely concentrated, including the United States, Israel, and the Former Soviet Union. This Conference engaged participants from around the globe in tackling the many intertwined facets of this topic, combining scholarly research with practical experience.

After the Conference a volume of select papers was published. This publication included comprehensive and comparative studies of the demographics, politics, and economics of emigration and immigration, along with analyses of the interactions between local cultures and the Russian Jewish communities.

Financial support for this program was provided by Genesis Philanthropy Group along with the Stanley and Judith Frankel Family Foundation, Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Russian Foundation for Humanities, American Councils for International Education, Russkiy Mir, and other generous donors.

Goals and Objectives

  • Explore how the emigration from the Former Soviet Union refines the concept of the Diaspora and Jewish ethnic identity.
  • Publish a volume of papers that will be used in Jewish Studies courses for the purpose of broadening Russian Jews’ understanding of the cultural and historical background of the immigration.
  • Bring about a more nuanced understanding of how migrations affect immigrants, the countries they emigrate from, and the places they now call home.