- Group Name: Project Kesher
- Location: Moscow,
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ProjectKesher
- Regular meetings: For information on specifics groups and programs please feel free to contact us via our website or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Activities, Challenges & Lesssons Learned
• Our Beit Binah program has created 69 semi-monthly Torah study groups that explore the connection between Jewish text and community activism;
• This past year, Project Kesher organized more than 600 Jewish communal holiday celebrations in more than 150 communities throughout the region involving thousands of participants;
• As the leading organization bringing the worldwide campaign, 16 Days to End Domestic Violence to the CIS, we engaged more than 101 Project Kesher groups and 362 different ethnic, non-profit and governmental organizations in educational programs and advocacy for better laws and enforcement;
• Project Kesher partnered with the American Bar Association in Moscow (CEELI) and provided half of the participants in their annual advocate training program resulting in legal assistance to more than 200 women who have been victims of domestic violence;
• Our activists initiated a highly successful anti-trafficking seminar for college students, 'Life Abroad, Myths and Reality,' that has been replicated in dozens of communities throughout the CIS;
• Next Generation Programming creates programming for women ages 18-30 years old, focusing on Jewish identity and community activism. This past year, in collaboration with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, we began development of programming on 8 college campuses in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and continued post-college activism for Jewish women in Georgia;
• Mother-Daughter Retreats provide opportunities for Jewish learning, communication skills development and community activism training. This past year, 25 mother-daughter pairs participated;
• More than 11,000 women have now graduated from ORT Keshernet Computer Centers which provide computer and vocational training to women, with priority given to those at risk.
In the last decade of the 20th century, the Soviet Union collapsed, ending an era of institutionalized anti-Semitism and more than seventy years of repression of the Jewish community. Today, the emerging CIS Jewish community faces many challenges. With an estimated 1 - 2 million Jews remaining in the region, building strong Jewish identity and developing communal leadership is essential to the future of Jewish life in the region. Also there is the fact that many organizations focus on Jewish men in the CIS, but no other on women.
We have learned that offering CIS women the opportunity to develop skills enables them to take on leadership roles in their communities. Project Kesher trained activists are involved in a range of issues important to them such as combating domestic violence and trafficking in women. Women power our programs, but their families and communities benefit. We have also learned that our inclusiveness is our strength. By linking ethnic and religious groups, Project Kesher builds strong communities and promotes tolerance. Multi-ethnic coalitions have been instrumental in diminishing and/or responding to incidents of anti-Semitism and other forms of ethnic hatred in cities and towns throughout the CIS.
American Bar Association CEELI,
Hebrew Union College (HUC),
Hillel in the former Soviet Union,
Jewish Women International (JWI),
The "La Strada Program: Prevention of Traffic in Women in Central and Eastern Europe,"
The Miramed Institute/The Angel Coalition,
National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ),
Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden,
Tahirih Justice Center,
World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ)