Announcing the Mishmash Philanthropy Group Grant RecipientsJanuary 17, 2013
The MishMash Philanthropy Group (MPG) awarded 7 mini-grants (up to $5,000 each, totaling $24,000) to organizations focused on supporting innovative and creative ideas for engaging Russian-speaking Jews in the Bay Area in Jewish life:
ArtDuga art & music education program | A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds (FJC)
The Art-duga art program develops children’s creative skills and brings art into their lives, thus enabling them to explore their roots, community, and culture. The 5-month program is designed for children ages 6 to 9 and will introduce children and their families to the concepts and ideas behind modern art through painters of Russian-Jewish descent biographies, interactive slideshows of their work, and introduction of music of the period and hands-on creative projects.
Trilingual Adult Group B’nai Mitzvah | Congregation Beth Am
This year-long b’nai mitzvah preparation program consists of weekly Hebrew classes provided through Lehrhaus Judaica and weekly Judaica classes provided by a teacher hired by Beth Am. It responds to a growing demand for adult b’nai mitzvah in recent years. Adult émigrés from the FSU who have never had the opportunity to be called to the Torah, will be given a chance to partake in this fundamental Jewish rite of passage. Émigré parents and grandparents have been focused on educating their children and grandchildren in preparation for b’nai mitzvah, and as more and more of them have successfully gone through that process, parents are realizing that they would like a chance to do what they missed; this program will help them fill that spiritual void.
Club Z | Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)
Club Z is a new community in which Jewish teens can hang out, participate in fun activities, and learn about Jews and Israel. With the right balance of fun and learning, these teens will discover Israel’s spirit and meet other Jewish kids just like themselves. Club Z is a place where teens can learn in an informal environment, and experience an alternative to what they see and hear about Israel in the mass media. It’s not just a Jewish identity building program, but a group that emphasizes the role of Israel for diaspora Jews, inspires teens about Israel’s spirit, and empowers them to take action.
Readings in 20th Century Russian Jewish Literature | The University Corporation, SF State
This project is a supplemental on-line course for heritage learners of Russian. Many Russian Jewish families try to keep speaking Russian with their children because they want them to communicate with grandparents and remain a part of the family. Thus, Russian language becomes a tool to connect generations, to convey Jewish cultural experiences and traditions to a new generations, and to keep connections with the family and the wider community. This course will improve the students’ language skills, give them an opportunity to study the best prose and poetic texts written in Russian by Jewish authors, provide them with new knowledge of Russian literature along with some key events in the history of Russian/Soviet Jewry, and for some of them might become an identity quest leading to their “Aha!” moment.
TANAKH Characters in the World Art | Congregation Anshei Sfard
This program replicates one of the most successful programs for Russian-Jewish families at Congregation Beth Am, ‘My Jewish Discovery,’ in order to increase families’ knowledge and understanding of Torah, Jewish wisdom, and values through the world of art. Throughout the year, children will create projects such as puppet shows, art installations, and websites which can be displayed at the end of the year for families to view.
Dramatic Theater Play Production Project | Theater “YOU” , inc.
This play is representative of the ideals and values promoted by Theater “YOU” theater company which are to relay Jewish and Russian culture, traditions, and art to the Russian-Jewish community in the United States. They strive to promote this culture through their plays, while involving volunteers and actors from the community.
Play Torah Project | Oshman Family Palo Alto JCC
The Play Torah project is intended for Russian-speaking Jewish families with children who want to discover and explore their Russian Jewish Heritage and build their Jewish identity. The goal of the project is to engage both parents and children in a fun and educational Jewish experience. Torah Quests are adventurous and informative games, where participants will become characters in biblical stories and will explore the Torah, solving riddles, following clues, reviving biblical events and make it all come to life.
Whenever weather permits, the quests will take place in parks, otherwise events will take place in rented party facilities, Jewish community centers and/or museums. They will have around 4-5 events during the year.