Russia Jewish programs to be expanded
Jewish Agency, philanthropy group agree to fund Jewish schools, summer camps, and other projects.
By AMIR MIZROCH, JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN MOSCOW
September 2, 2009 21:43
1 minute read.
sharansky in russia thinking 248.88 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Genesis Philanthropy Group have reached a general agreement on widening the scope of mutual cooperation in the field of Jewish education and strengthening Jewish identity of Russian-speaking Jews on the territory of the Russian Federation and other FSU countries.
The cooperation in question includes support of Jewish schools, summer camps, and other projects.
GPG is headed by Russian Jewish billionaire Michael Fridman, chief of Alpha Bank, one of Russia's largest banks.
Within the framework of the agreement, GPG will invest up to $6 million into its joint programs with the Jewish Agency over the next three to four years. GPG will also help the Jewish Agency evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the projects operated by the agency on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, on his first visit to Russian in that capacity, said of the agreement: "Over the last years the Jewish Agency has been active in working on the return of hundreds of thousands of Jews to their historical roots and the strengthening of Jewish identity. It worked together with the government of Israel, and, in recent years, with the active participation of the IFCJ [International Fellowship of Christians and Jews], USA.
"I welcome the fact that today the representatives of Russia's Jewish community are more and more involved in building Jewish institutions in Russia and are doing their utmost to strengthen the Jewish identity of Russian-speaking Jews around the world."
Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post that he hoped Fridman's example would spur other Russian Jewish donors to invest in sustainable programs for their communities.
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