Last night, August 20th, 900 Russian-speaking Birthright Israel participants celebrated the lifelong journey they embarked on.
For most Birthright Israel participants from the Former Soviet Union, this trip marked not only their first visit to Israel, but also their first opportunity to discover firsthand the country’s cultural capital and bring the experience back home to their communities.
The participants got to enjoy various introductions to Israeli culture by leading artists and experts including: Musical performances with Habrigada Hatarbutit, Tusovka poetry session with Alex Rif, a talk from Oleg Kuvaev about Animation, a lecture regarding contemporary Israeli Cinema by Lena Rusovski, a Talk by Gidon Levin about Israeli Art, a lecture on photography and its effect on media platforms from Sasha Prilutsky, a discussion with Zeev Volk about the contributions of nostology and vintage to today's Tel Aviv and a humoristic theater workshop with Tziporela and Tamara Klingon.
In addition, an education fair showcasing a broad range of programmatic opportunities in Israel available for young Jewish adults from the Diaspora was held for the participants, followed by a colorful dance party.
Gidi Mark, International CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel said: “The Russian speaking community is an inseparable part of the fabric of contemporary Israeli society and culture, just as the Jewish community in the FSU is an inseparable part of Jewish World. The 900 young participants taking part in the event, will begin their Jewish Journey on Taglit Birthright Israel, a lifelong journey that will undoubtedly help bring them closer to their Jewish identity, Jewish people the world over, and the state the Israel.”
The event was a part of a comprehensive partnership between Taglit-Birthright Israel and Genesis Philanthropy Group, intended to provide Russian-speaking participants with various enrichment experiences while they are in Israel participating in Birthright trips. Over the years more than 45,000 participants from the FSU have taken part in Taglit.
Ilia Salita, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group: “For young Russian-speaking Jews, Birthright-Israel has proven to be a unique opportunity to experience and build deep connections to Israel and its people. The partnership between Genesis Philanthropy Group and Taglit-Birthright Israel has not only resulted in tens of thousands of young Russian-speaking Jews taking part in the Birthright experience over the past eight years, but has also led to the development of specific programs involving cultural exchange as well as genealogy and heritage exploration. We are thrilled that these initiatives which we helped create are now being incorporated into Taglit programs for other Jewish communities from different parts of the world.”
About Genesis Philanthropy Group:
Genesis Philanthropy Group is a private foundation whose mission is to develop and enhance a sense of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide by supporting and launching projects, programing and institutions that are focused on ensuring that Jewish culture, heritage and values are preserved in Russian-speaking Jewish communities. More information is available at gpg.org.
About Taglit-Birthright Israel
During the last 17 years, Birthright Israel has provided free cultural experience trips to Israel for more than 600,000 participants from around the world with the goal of strengthening Jewish identity, facilitating cultural understanding and fostering solidarity with Israel and its people. Birthright Israel is open to Jewish young adults worldwide between 18 and 26 years old