Frequently Asked Questions
- Why work in the countries we do?
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 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.
Our expansion into Israel was in response to the significant need for a Project Kesher type program for that country’s Russian speaking population.
- Why focus on women? What about the men?
In Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, no other Jewish organization focuses exclusively on women and girls. Project Kesher's highly sophisticated leadership training program provides skills development with Jewish content to this underserved sector. Our trained activists are often the only ones to focus attention on domestic violence and human trafficking. Our efforts have helped to ensure a strong female Jewish voice on key issues in secular communities in the region and a strong women’s voice in the Jewish community.
Women may power our programs, but their families and communities benefit.
- Why include multi-ethnic coalitions?
Our inclusiveness is our strength. By linking ethnic and religious groups, Project Kesher builds strong communities and promotes tolerance. These multi-ethnic coalitions have been instrumental in diminishing and/or responding to incidents of anti-Semitism and other forms of ethnic intolerance. As we work with our counterparts, they learn about our values and our commitment to building a just and civil society that serves all people.
- What about Jewish continuity?
Project Kesher’s Next Generation programs have successfully engaged a new generation of Jewish women and girls in the region. From teenage youth groups, to programs on college campuses, to working with young professionals, our programs energize young women through a unique combination of Jewish content and social activism.
- What can Project Kesher do with more funding? (Glad you asked!)
Project Kesher's programming continues to expand. In our Advanced Leadership Training, Mother- Daughter Retreats and other programs, we are faced with chronic waiting lists. Many other locations in the region ask us to expand to include them, There is a significant need for more of our multi-ethnic coalition work. In difficult economic times, our financial literacy and women’s health projects are particularly critical. It would be our pleasure to partner with you in this important work.
- Where do I fit in?
Prefer making change in the world to wishing for it? Think the world needs fewer chasms and more bridges? Believe that a plurality of viewpoints can coexist? Sounds like you're a Project Kesher kind of person.