Program offers 13 Russian Jews outreach grants

Individuals will have the opportunity to work on projects giving back to the community.

January 30, 2012 23:41
1 minute read.
Women work in an office

cubicles 521. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash 90)

A new program will allow 13 young Jewish entrepreneurs to develop new ventures serving the Jewish community in Russia.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and PresenTense last week announced the launch of the Kaet Fellows, a five-month incubator where individuals will have the opportunity to work on projects giving back to the community.

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“One of the cornerstones of our work in the former Soviet Union over the last 20 years has been to build the next generation of Jewish leadership and we’re very proud that together with PresenTense our first class of fellows will bring a new level of innovation and creativity to a Jewish community yearning for new ways to connect and grow,” JDC CEO Steven Schwager said.

Recipients of the fellowship include Yohanan Kosenko, a 27-year-old rabbi who has created a database of a Jewish cemetery in Moscow. He hopes to use the data to tell the story of deceased community members to younger generations in Russia.

Another fellow is Arkady Baranovsky, a 34- year-old author who wants to help rehabilitate Jewish inmates by opening a theater group they can join.

Ariel Beery, co-founder of PresenTense, a social innovation organization partnering with JDC on the project, said he was excited and honored to take part in the Kaet Fellowship. Beery said he hoped the fellows will go on to found more social groups catering to the needs of the Jewish community of Moscow.

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