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Project Kesher Women of Tver Turn a Hate Bombing into an Opportunity to Build a Coalition for Tolerance

New York - June 22, 2010 - Project Kesher today condemned Monday's bombing of the Tver synagogue and Jewish community center which houses an ORT-KesherNet center.

The bombing forced the temporary closing of the center, which provides job skills to Jewish and non-Jewish women in the region. Two passersby were injured and extensive property damage occurred.

"It is shocking and deplorable that the ORT-KesherNET Center in Tver, which has been a force for so much good and promise in the region, would be damaged by those committed to destruction, injury and even worse," said Karyn Gershon, Executive Director of Project Kesher. "The damage will be repaired, and in the process, we will continue to work with women in this community to become self-sufficient and to support the rebuilding of Jewish life throughout the region. This initiative and our partners at Project Kesher-Russia will emerge stronger than ever.

"We, of course, are thankful that no deaths resulted from this despicable act, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who sustained injuries."

The ORT-KesherNet Center in Tver, northwest of Moscow, is one of 17 throughout the former Soviet Union that has provided life-changing job skills to 18,000 women. The centers are a joint project of Project Kesher and World ORT, and are open to women based on need, with priority given to single mothers, the unemployed, refugees and members of other vulnerable groups. The Tver center opened in 2002 and has trained 1,177 women in computer literacy and office skills. Thirty five students are currently enrolled there.