The Federation Announces Grants to Russian Jewish Community

Earlier this week, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties announced nine outstanding new grantees through its Russian Jewish Community Impact Grants Initiative (IGI), which is supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group. These exemplary organizations were selected by a delegation of Bay Area Russian Jewish Community leaders, formed through the IGI – the Federation’s pioneering prototype for community-engaged grant-making. The awardees, listed below, will each receive between $2,000 and $7,000 in funding from the Federation to help grow the capacity and efficiency of their operations.

“These grants, and Federation’s ongoing work with the Russian-speaking community, are a testament to the strong ties and relationships that have blossomed between Russian speakers and other members of the Jewish community,” said Federation CEO Jennifer Gorovitz. “I am thrilled by the IGI committee’s selections, and I am equally pleased by the intense involvement of Russian Jewish leaders during the process. Serving the Russian-speaking community and continuing to bring it deeper into our tent are essential for our Bay Area Jewish community.”

The grantees selected were:

AlephBet School, Congregation Ner Tamid in San Francisco: Kosher Food lessons with Aleph Bet School are designed for children ages 4-12. The program will teach Judaism and Kashrut to children through a creative approach to cooking.

Alligator Studios, Jewish Study Network in Palo Alto: Alligator Studios creates monthly Jewish art programing where Russian-Jewish families can explore Jewish principles through memorable, experiential, and hands-on learning techniques.

The Beth Am Émigré Program, Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills: 1) Jewish Time Traveling Machine is for families with children 11-13 years old, and facilitates study of the most important events, people and places in Jewish history through multimedia; 2) Kabbalat Shabbat helps families with children learn more about Shabbat; and, 3) the Women’s Leadership Program provides leadership training designed specifically for Bay Area Russian-speaking Jews.

Raising Jewish Children, Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto: Raising Jewish Children provides engagement and education for Russian-speaking parents seeking a way to create a Jewish home and raise Jewish kids.

Club Z, Rimon Club on the Peninsula: Club Z is a new community for Jewish teens to hang out, participate in fun activities, and learn about Jews and Israel.

Ogonëk, Rimon Club on the Peninsula: Ogonëk is an experiential social and emotional support group for Russian-speaking Jewish youths, ages 14-16, to provide a safe and creative space to facilitate exploration of self-identity through art, dramatic play, and peer support.

Dramatic theater play production project, Theater "YOU," Inc.: “Difficult People” is a play for adults that tells a story of Rachel and Simon, Jewish siblings, survivors of a family that perished in the cataclysm that was the fate of European Jewry.

Speak Memory, Jewish LearningWorks: The Speak Memory project extends the original Speak Memory project, supported by COJECO’s Blueprint Fellowship, to San Francisco. The project will document stories of Russian Jewry throughout the 20th century, through photographs, text, and other works, in order to connect Russian Jews with their history.

Russian Speaking Moishe House, Moishe House San Francisco: the Russian Jewish Moishe House creates a special place for Jews of Russian descent to feel comfortable exploring their identity. Moishe House helps Russian Jewish young adults in San Francisco stay connected to their heritage while simultaneously creating new bonds through meaningful shared experiences.

The Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) is an approach to grantmaking that promotes high involvement by donors and their grantees. Read about past grantees. To learn more about the Russian Jewish Community IGI, contact Irina Klay at



December 05, 2013