Where does the chain of our tradition break ─

What can we do in our families and communities to restore the connection to Judaism . . .

Global women's celebrations

Global Women’s Jewish Holiday Celebrations

Project Kesher provides training to women, website information and materials for Global Women’s Celebrations for the High Holidays, Passover, Simchat Torah, Tu B'shvat and Hanukkah. As our Torah Return Project continues to grow, our Simchat Torah celebrations are particularly exciting because they are hosted by the communities that have received Torahs, and they invite women from surrounding communities to join them. Project Kesher leaders are trained in traditional Jewish practices and then, inspired to be creative and culturally adaptive. All information for the holidays is included on the Project Kesher Russian language website making it easily accessible and replicable. Among the strongest reasons to support this programming is that it is one of the few designed, organized and implemented solely by Jews in the region and is completely run by women. It is a unique model because funding is raised locally for each individual celebration which helps foster self- sufficiency

Global Women’s Passover Seders

.. For the first time, those present at our Seder discussed how the exodus from slavery and gaining freedom are two different processes demanding active behavior. The participants tried to find answers to this question: ‘where does the chain of our tradition break and what can we do in our families and communities to restore the connection to Judaism between generations and to achieve continuity of our history.

 

- Elena Z., Project Kesher Women’s Group Leader, Beit Binah and Advanced Leadership Training Program graduate

With the end of Communism, Passover Seders were one of the first rituals widely re-introduced into the Jewish community of the Commonwealth of Independent States of the former Soviet Union (CIS). The freedom to live as Jews resonated strongly in post-Soviet Russia and the region.

Project Kesher held our first Global Women’s Seder in 1995 and the program has continued to grow. Today, Project Kesher’s Women’s Seders are designed to advance Jewish communities at different stages of sophistication and knowledge. Less experienced women's groups use the Global Women's Seder for learning the fundamentals of a Seder and as a model for Seders they will subsequently host with their family and community. More sophisticated women's groups (those with more experience hosting seders) use the Global Women’s Seder as an annual gathering to renew their commitment to activism, connect their own experience in a developing free society to the story of the Exodus, and in some cases invite members of the non-Jewish community to join them.

Each year, several thousand women participate in Project Kesher Global Women’s Seders in more than 125 women’s groups throughout Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova and Israel. Project Kesher Women’s Seders include traditional text and modern feminist interpretations. Each Seder concludes with an “Act!” chapter where women are inspired to move from the words of the Seder to specific acts of social activism in their communities, with a focus on addressing issues impacting women and girls and projects helping the most oppressed in their society.

In recent years, Project Kesher has added an Internet Seder to create a virtual round table. Through this technology, women in more than 25 cities participate.